UnitedHealth Group and Cisco announced that they inked a deal to build the first national telehealth network, which will allow patients access to physicians and specialists when in-person visits are not viable. With combination of audio and video technology and health resources, the new ‘Connected Care’ programme is to greatly expand physicians reach into rural, urban and other underserved areas. UnitedHealth Group has committed tens of millions of dollars toward the new initiative. Including a network of 590,000 physicians and care professionals and more than 4,900 hospitals, UnitedHealth Group, a national care provider, and Cisco, the industry-leading video conferencing and other collaborative network technologies, will help connect patients more easily with primary care physicians, specialists and hospitals. Connected Care will make clinics available in the workplace, as well as in rural and retail locations. In-home visits using similar technology will also be introduced to truly bring care to the patient.
Serving more than 70 million Americans UnitedHealth Group’s diverse health businesses are able to integrate and share health information to help better coordinate patients’ care. The company’s national reach and deep experience in merging technology with clinical expertise gives Connected Care the broad scale that other telehealth programs have not achieved. Cisco’s principal technology HealthPresence enables Connected Care, using video, audio and medical information to create an experience remarkably similar to an in-person visit with a doctor. Being built on an open network Connected Care will integrate multiple vendors’ technologies with Electronic Health Records and other IT platforms. It will enable real-time connectivity and consultations among doctors, nurses, and health system professionals across the country, creating a more connected system of health care. The remote communications between patients and the caregiver staff has been made safe and secure by Cisco’s Contact Center that facilitates the intelligent routing of caregiver communications. Cisco employees San Jose, California were tested upon over a period of seven months to declare success of the Connected Care programme. 90% of the participants told that they would recommend the program to others.