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Apollo Hospitals and CISCO to bridge the Health Divide - ICT solutions to transform healthcare in suburban and rural areas

Apollo Hospitals, along with CISCO, the globally renowned networking and telecommunication provider, announced an alliance to help revolutionize healthcare through Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This joint venture will drive inclusive growth and accelerate access to affordable and high quality healthcare via CISCO's 'Desktop Solution' technology.

Speaking about the association, Ms Sangita Reddy, Executive Director - Apollo Hospitals Group, said: "At Apollo Hospitals, we constantly endeavour to introduce new models to help in making quality healthcare accessible to the masses. The alliance with CISCO will revolutionize the delivery of healthcare in India. The CISCO 'Desktop Solution' represents significant advances in technology and telecommunication techniques, effectively delivering healthcare 24x7 remotely."

Healthcare providers face many challenges in the delivery of healthcare services, particularly to suburban and rural areas. During the last decade, Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation - the largest and oldest multi-specialty telemedicine network - has handled some of these issues in an organized, cost-efficient manner. When integrated with Apollo Hospital's 'Medintegra', for the first time CISCO's 'Desktop Solution' will make available a user-friendly, cost-effective telemedicine solution at a significantly reduced initial investment at the remote end.

Telemedicine can now be universally available. Doctors with this technology do not need to visit a telemedicine room to connect with patients and can now interact with patients on a laptop supported with an Internet connection. A detailed "clinical examination" and review of all investigations is possible in a seamless manner with the option of recording the entire interaction. Apollo and CISCO aim to collaboratively create smart connected healthcare communities by using cutting-edge technology in healthcare.

As a first step, Apollo Hospitals Group and Apollo Telemedicine Foundation will be deploying 60 such 'Desktop Solutions', thereby enabling a patient to access any doctor, any time across the Apollo system.

Professor K. Ganapathy, President of Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation and President-elect of the Telemedicine Society of India observed that this solution would help telemedicine in India reach the critical mass essential for a successful take-off. "We are looking beyond India in deploying this technology. 'Doctor anyone, anytime, anywhere' will be our slogan," Prof. Ganapathy remarked.

Commenting on the relationship, Wim Elfrink, Chief Globalisation Officer and Executive Vice President, Cisco Services, said: "We are excited to collaborate closely with Apollo Hospitals to create and showcase various healthcare solutions. Information and Communications Technologies play a vital role in improving access to, and providing an affordable and quality healthcare system especially to tier 1 and tier 2 communities. Backed by Apollo's expertise, I am confident we can transform how doctors practice medicine and how patients experience care - no matter where they are."

Vishal Gupta, Vice President, CISCO said: "We are certain that with Apollo's feedback, the product will be refined further to suit specific needs worldwide."

CISCO Health Presence extended reach solution helps connect patients with medical providers conveniently and efficiently, regardless of distance. Using the network as a platform for telemedicine, it creates an environment similar to what patients experience when they visit their medical provider. It combines high-definition video and audio, end-to-end telemedicine workflow, and remote medical diagnostics to create an affordable, innovative and scalable solution.

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