Vidyo Telehealth System Uses the Internet

The VidyoHealth telepresence system for health care providers is designed to enable doctors to communicate more easily and affordably with other doctors and with patients. The Vidyo system uses the Internet, rather than requiring dedicated telehealth networks.

Video collaboration vendor Vidyo aims to make it easier for health care providers and organizations to use telepresence technology in their day-to-day work.

Vidyo is rolling out VidyoHealth, a telemedicine video conferencing product that enables health care providers to user the Internet and other general-purpose IP networks to communicate with other doctors and with patients.

The VidyoHealth offering, introduced May 12, removes the need for a more traditional dedicated telehealth network infrastructure, which will help reduce costs and expand access to remote facilities and patients. That in turn will help doctors and patients realize the potential of telehealth, according to Ofer Shapiro, Vidyo CEO and co-founder.

"Until now, telehealth solutions from legacy providers were built on enterprise-centric models requiring expensive, dedicated [quality-of-service] networks in order to deliver high-quality video and audio," Shapiro said in a statement. "This was not practical for medical practitioners who needed to connect with remotely located patients or facilities."

The North Region Health Alliance is using the Vidyo offering to help improve communications between 20 hospitals and a mental health organization spread across 20,000 square miles in rural Minnesota and North Dakota. For the Acacia Mental Health Clinic in Milwaukee, having the system in place makes it more affordable for clients to get the help they need, according to officials there.

The VidyoHealth system includes the VidyoDesktop software for Mac, Windows and Linux, and the VidyoClick optional touch-screen endpoint for at-home patients.

Other components include VidyoPortal, an x86-based appliance for Web-based management services, VidyoRouter appliance that offers the software-based multipoint ports, VidyoRoom systems, and VidyoGateway, an option that connects VidyoConferencing systems and legacy H.323 or SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) endpoints.

The VidyoHealth suite is available now starting at $17,000 for a package that can support up to 26 users.

Other video communication vendors and health care providers also are looking for ways to improve access to health care through collaboration technology. For example, Cisco Systems in March introduced its HealthPresence telepresence product for the medical field.