UnitedHealth Group, Cisco launch telehealth network

Until recently, health plans have been the biggest culprits in holding back the growth of telemedicine services, as few are willing to pay for them. Now, however, UnitedHealth Group seems like it's ready to jump ahead of the curve. Working in partnership with networking vendor Cisco Systems, UHG is rolling out a national telehealth network offering access to both primary care and specialist services.

UHG's new telehealth network will reach its 590,000 physicians and other care professionals, along with 4,900 hospitals. The Connect Care network will offer clinics in workplace settings, as well as rural and retail clinics. The network also will support in-home visits using similar technology.

The network will be based on Cisco's HealthPresence technology, which will support video, audio, and medical information exchange. Cisco says its platform will offer integration with multiple vendors' EMR technologies, as well as intelligent routing of caregiver communications.

Cisco and UHG have already tested Connected Care on Cisco's own employees in San Jose over a recent seven-month period. The program has also been in Aberdeen, Scotland and New Zealand, and will soon be tested in six U.S. locations.

To learn more about the Connected Care rollout:
- read this Cisco press release

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