Polycom expands its presence in the telemedicine market with new offering

By Eric Wicklund
09:48 AM

The ever-growing telemedicine market is getting a little more sophisticated these days, thanks in part to Polycom's latest offering.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based global telecommunications provider on Monday unveiled the Polycom Open Telepresence Experience (OTX) 300, a high-definition offering running on the company's new H.264 High Profile video compression technology, designed to use half the bandwidth of comparable systems and reduce start-up costs for healthcare providers.

John Antanaitis, Polycom's vice president of product marketing, said OTX 300 is designed to expand the company's presence in the telehealth/telemedicine field by offering a platform that will appeal to healthcare providers looking to connect to outlying clinics and specialists to offer everything from clinical advice to educational content.

"There are significant pressures to be cost-effective and at the same time improve connectivity," he said. "What we're doing is slashing bandwidth expense" and making the platform available to a wider range of healthcare sources.

"We're able to enable more people to participate," added Deb Jeffries, Polycom's director of healthcare marketing. "We're starting to overcome the hurdles of bandwidth and high-speed connectivity."

With telecommunications rivals Cisco and Tandberg staking their claim to a significant chunk of the telemedicine market, Polycom officials say the OTX 300 gives them a comparable platform. The system integrates with UC and networking platforms, including the Microsoft Office Communications Server R2 and Microsoft Exchange.

The system builds off Polycom's line of telepresence offerings, including the Telepresence Experience (TPX), RealPresence Experience (RPX) and Architected Telepresence Experience (ATX) 300 solutions. The combined platform includes room and personal telepresence systems, video conferencing systems, desktop video collaboration solutions and conferencing infrastructure. The Polycom video content platform includes video recording, streaming, content management and digital signage tools.

"As use of visual communications continues to increase, customers are looking for solutions that natively integrate with their core network and communications environments so they can derive more return from their technology investments," said Yancey Smith, director of product management, Communications Server for Microsoft, in a press release provided by Polycom. "Today, Polycom's integration for Microsoft environments is a great example, providing broad interoperability with Microsoft Office Communicator desktop video clients and dramatically simplifying the use of video by automating the scheduling and joining of video calls through Microsoft Outlook and the sharing of content through Microsoft SharePoint."

"Polycom telepresence helps customers address the increasingly critical challenge of collaborating across multiple locations," added Andrew Miller, Polycom's president and CEO. "Using telepresence, Polycom customers save millions of dollars a year by improving productivity and reducing the need to travel. In addition, we estimate a mid-sized enterprise will spend up to $2.1 million less in the first year of a typical Polycom telepresence deployment."