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Telepresence Options Brief - AMD Global Telemedicine

September 28, 2011 | David S. Maldow, Esq.
Telepresence Options Brief is a new series of articles from Human Productivity Lab analyst and Telepresence Options associate editor David Maldow.  To keep up with latest technologies and companies in telepresence and visual collaboration, David is constantly researching and interviewing market participants and will be sharing some of his conversations in this on-going series.

David's first Telepresence Options Brief was with
Dan McCafferty, Vice President - Corporate Development at AMD Global Telemedicine, the market leader in telemedicine solutions with installations in 81 countries. AMD has served the telemedicine community as a pioneer in clinical telemedicine since 1993 and AMD products and services have an 80% global market share with installations from Kazakhstan to the International Space Station.

So what is Telemedicine?

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) defines telemedicine as, "the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve patients' health status. " the ATA further states, "Videoconferencing, transmission of still images, e-health including patient portals, remote monitoring of vital signs, continuing medical education and nursing call centers are all considered part of telemedicine ... "


Remote medical consultations have always been among the most obvious, and undeniably valuable, use cases for videoconferencing. Medical experts can't be everywhere, but they are needed everywhere. Videoconferencing allows patients living in remote areas to have clinical consultations with experts that would have not otherwise been possible. Therefore, it was a surprise to no one when the medical community became early adopters of videoconferencing technology.

The resulting medical videoconferencing networks provided the backbone for additional medical data exchange.  The industry soon learned that it was possible to repurpose the additional ports on videoconferencing codecs (secondary camera ports, etc.) to accept medical peripherals (exam cameras, scope systems, etc.).  The data collected by these medical devices could then be transferred via the videoconferencing systems.

A large, but decreasing, percentage of telemedicine peripherals are still using videoconferencing systems for data transport. Many telemedicine environments now looking towards newer solutions that can gather and distribute patient medical information in real time and independent of any videoconferencing network. AMD offers solutions, such as their AGNES appliance, to meet these requirements.


Agnes collects and aggregates electronic medical records and captures medical quality audio, video and data.  Doctors can use their PC browser to access this information either streamed in real time, or via a "store and forward" model. AMD estimates that AGNES can take costs down by 40% compared to traditional solutions. AGNES's open platform allows it to be used with any medical device, AMD or others, and it can accessed via any browser over a low bandwidth connection. In addition, AGNES, and all AMD products meet the recent FDA medical device regulations published last Feburary.

In addition to its encounter management offerings and extensive line of peripherals, AMD offers services designed to help their clients through all five steps of creating a telemedicine environment:

    1. Medical Needs Assessment: Determining what types of devices, peripherals, software are needed.
    2. Technique Assessment: Determining whether the system is expected to be used for real time, store and forward, etc.
    3. Connectivity: Deciding how the systems will be integrated.
    4. Clinical Configuration: Choosing how the systems will be physically presented on site (Cart, etc.)
    5. Professional services: Project management, workflow consulting, clinical training, certification, etc.


Writing as someone who worked in a Manhattan hospital clinic in 1991 (the dark ages of telemedicine), I have firsthand experience with the logistical nightmare of getting the doctors and patients in the same place at the same time.  I have also had to explain to patients that they will have to wait long periods of time until the expert they need to see will be in town and available. Even worse was the headache of trying to aggregate and manage hard copy medical records that were passed around from doctor to doctor and from clinic to clinic. 

Although it is has been a long time since I worked at the hospital, I am thrilled to see companies like AMD making the kinds of advancements that make these problems disappear, so physicians can focus on what really matters.

About the Analyst - David Maldow - Human Productivity Lab Consulting Practice


David Maldow is a visual collaboration technologist with the Human Productivity Lab with extensive expertise in testing, evaluating, and explaining telepresence and other visual collaboration technologies.  David is focused on providing third-party independent testing of telepresence and visual collaboration endpoints and infrastructure and helping industry participants explain complicated subjects through white papers and other end-user facing publications.  David will be a contributor to the Lab's publications:
Telepresence Options, the monthly newsletter: Telepresence Options' Telegraph and the bi-annual Telepresence Options Magazine.

Prior to joining the team at HPL and Telepresence Options, David worked at industry analyst firm Wainhouse Research (WR) as a member of their video collaboration coverage team. While at WR, he supported a variety of videoconferencing, streaming, and end-user consulting projects. David managed WR's videoconferencing test lab where he oversaw and conducted evaluations of rich media products and solutions. David wrote, or co-wrote, numerous evaluations and other reports for WR publications.

To Schedule a Briefing, Please Contact David at [email protected]

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