Polycom has unveiled the RealPresence Practitioner Cart 8000, an ergonomic telemedicine cart that enables remote consultations with patients.
Polycom has launched the
RealPresence Practitioner Cart 8000, a telemedicine cart that enables
caregivers to hold video conferences with patients located in remote areas.
The company announced and showcased
the new cart at the American Telemedicine Association Fall Forum 2012
in New Orleans on Sept. 10.
The cart offers high-definition
video conferencing. It incorporates Polycom's HDX 8000 telepresence unit, a 720-pixel
EagleEye camera and StereoSurround technology.
Polycom's Practitioner Cart 8000
combines the company's telepresence technology along with a small, lightweight
mobile cart from Rubbermaid Healthcare.
Rubbermaid is known for its home
consumer products, but the Rubbermaid Healthcare division provides clinical
workstations for medical facilities.
"When developing this cart with
Polycom, we saw an opportunity to create a highly ergonomic, mobile and
versatile platform that uniquely meets the needs of today's very demanding
telehealth environment," Kevin Boyle, business leader for Rubbermaid
Healthcare, said in a statement.
The frame enables clinicians to
avoid spills and clean the cart easily, according to Polycom.
Remote care, also referred to as telehealth,
is a growing trend in health care that could reduce hospital readmissions. The
telehealth market is expected to grow to $1 billion by 2016, according to a
2011 report by InMedica, a unit of IMS Research.
Several vendors such as AT&T,
Cisco and Consult A Doctor demonstrated telehealth technology at the ATA 2012
conference in San Jose, Calif., earlier
The Polycom cart conforms to U.S.
Food and Drug Administration Class I Medical Device Data Systems (MDDS)
requirements, according to Polycom. Class I requires that IT companies register
health care hardware and software that transfer, store, convert or display
medical information. The MDDS rule went into effect on April 18, 2011.
"Health care reform and
cost-cutting initiatives are accelerating the adoption of telemedicine as
providers seek to deliver quality care to underserved populations, but without
the expense of transporting patients to large medical centers or sending
specialists into the field," Ron Emerson, global director of health care
for Polycom, said in a statement.
The cart runs on a 55-amp sealed
lead acid battery, which provides up to 2.5 hours of continuous, uninterrupted
call time. A powered electronic lift enables users to maintain eye-level
In addition, the cart's platform can
accommodate a laptop or PC. Connectivity options include HDMI, DVI, VGA,
S-Video and composite video.
The cart can connect digital in-band
stethoscopes and video scopes through USB. By connecting peripheral heart
monitors to the unit, cardiologists can monitor the condition of heart
Doctors can use the cart to
broadcast medical procedures for education, or telemonitoring nurses and staff.
It also enables dermatologists to examine skin lesions remotely.
Polycom sees the Practitioner Cart
8000 being used in community health centers, remote clinics, physician offices,
emergency rooms, intensive care units, public health departments, prisons and
The nonverbal clues that can be
observed in a telemedicine session are useful for psychiatry and mental health
sessions, as well as stroke and neurology consultations, according to Polycom.
As far as security, the cart
incorporates Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption to protect patient
information and comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
The cart will be available in
October for $26,999.