On demand boosts health care

Just like TiVo, medical lectures and presentations can now beaccessed over the Internet — whenever, wherever — the result of anew technology dubbed Mediasite.

Madison, Wisconsin-based Sonic Foundry Inc. recently used Mediasiteto build a multimedia clinical library for Toronto’s Sunnybrook& Women’s College Health Sciences Centre.

Sunnybrook staffers can now share information around the globe –with hospitals, medical schools, clinicians and patients.

Rimas Buinevicius, chairman and CEO of Sonic Foundry, said that oneof their key vertical markets is health sciences and thistechnology touches on several themes, one being on demandaccess.

“Continuing medical education is something that’s very important,you want to be up-to-date on the latest treatments, research anddrug therapies,” said Buinevicius. “One of the biggest handicaps inthe past was when health care professionals had to attend medicalconferences in order to learn.”

Mediasite eliminates a lot of the time delay associated withgetting information out there, according to Buinevicius.

“Sunnybrook is a good example of a progressive institution that isusing traditional video conferencing and media communications totry to have outreach with their message,” said Buinevicius. “Asmany people as you want can have access, or it can be limited, youcan make it secure.”

Oliver Tsai, director of information technology for Sunnybrook& Women’s, said the rollout was a five year process and it tooka couple of years to find the right technology.

“When we discovered Mediasite, and the feature and function setthey made available on their product, it was a no-brainer for usbecause of how rich that feature set was,” said Tsai.

Sunnybrook wanted a product that was extremely easy to use fortheir end-users because the long-term vision was to reach patientsand their families as well, according to Tsai.

“We had to make sure that the end user experience was somethingthat was very simple and very straightforward.” Tsai said. “Itliterally crosses time zones because if there are students or staffin Vancouver who want to watch live, they can,” Tsai said.

Mediasite was on display recently when Dr. Mary Vearncombe,Sunnybrook & Women’s medical director of infection control onpandemic planning gave a presentation on planning for the AvianFlu, according to Tsai.

“Our auditorium couldn’t sustain the number of people who wereinterested in watching, so we had hundreds of people onlinewatching, and since that session, there have been thousands thathave watched online,” he said.

Prior to Mediasite Sunnybrook wasn’t able to capture all theclinical content that their staff was delivering on a daily basis,sometimes multiple times a day, according to Tsai.

“If you weren’t in attendance live, the best you could have donewould have been to get a copy of the power point slides later on,”Tsai said. “Now you’re able to watch the entire session, you canwatch it live from any network location or watch it later on demandfrom the archive, and it really enriches the experience.”

Buinevicius said the feedback they’ve been receiving fromSunnybrook has been outstanding.

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