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iVisit Rx – cellphones help visually impaired people

By Damir Beciri
28 May 2009

ivisit-seescan.jpgiVisit is a Santa Monica based technology company focused on delivering high fidelity unified communication and collaboration solutions for the consumer, enterprise, and healthcare markets. Their product iVisit Rx telemedicine platform won first place in the Fourth Annual CTIA Emerging Technologies (E-Tech) Awards in the Healthcare category. They presented several projects which help in telemedicine and in help to visually impaired people.

iVisit’s core technology enables face-to-face communication between medical practitioners and patients, allowing for remote patient treatment and monitoring. It works across IP and 3G+ networks and allows connectivity between mobile phones, desktops, laptops, and mobile diagnostic devices. Other iVisit capabilities include photo sharing and messaging, remote patient monitoring, session recording for medical records, GPS location based services, and soon wireless integration with Blood Pressure Monitors, Glucometers, and other vital sign monitoring devices.

Beta versions of the application are currently running on Windows Mobile with touch screens and PCs.

“iVisit’s video conferencing and data services running on Windows Mobile are a good example of high value 3G services that are now possible,” said Steve Hegenderfer, group product manager for Windows Mobile at Microsoft Corp. “The Windows Mobile platform makes it possible for developers, such as iVisit, to easily build compelling applications with a familiar programming language and top-level industry tools.”

iVisit and its partners are developing iVisit Rx as a telemedicine and assisted living platform that combats soaring healthcare costs. For example, CELLUCARE is helping patients manage their diabetes condition by providing coaching and intervention, which reduces the likelihood of medical events that incur higher costs and improves quality of the patients’ mobile lifestyle. Nurse Practitioners talk face-to-face with patients in their homes using 2-way video over mobile phones powered by iVisit Rx.

A second iVisit Rx partner, Wound Technology Network (WTN), offers a distributed wound treatment program where two wound specialists (one on location, one connected remotely) simultaneously assess and treat patient wounds. Through its centralized specialist call center, care management software, and use of iVisit Rx, WTN offers patients a level of wound care expertise, standardized protocols, and quality of care that rivals the best specialty wound care clinics.

iVisit is also working with the National Institute of Health and Veterans Administration to improve the lives of visually impaired users. iVisit’s SeeScan technology, available for Windows Mobile, allows users to quickly detect and recognize objects such as consumer goods and currency. Additionally, iVisit’s SeeStar technology offers “a pair of eyes” via the use of a cell phone camera and data link to a remote assistant. The assistant views the live images and then describes the person’s surroundings, indicating the location of landmarks and pathways to destinations or locating and recognizing objects and print media.

Although it’s only a step before the development of artificial eyesight, it is certainly going to give more independence to visually impaired people.

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