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Panasonic Targets Healthcare Market with Direct Care Connect from Poltys

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October 28, 2011

Panasonic Targets Healthcare Market with Direct Care Connect from Poltys

By Sandra M. Gustavsen, Analyst, Business VoIP

Panasonic (News - Alert) partners with Poltys to offer healthcare facilities Direct Care Connect, a real-time alarm and notification application. Direct Care Connect integrates with a nurse call system and a Panasonic phone system (KX-TDE, KX-NCP or KX-TDA) to improve efficiencies by relaying patient requests for assistance directly to a caregiver’s cordless DECT (News - Alert) handset (Panasonic KX-TD7600 or KX-WT120 Series DECT). Analysts and industry experts agree that the healthcare market is a golden opportunity for any solution provider as it has become the most attractive single market in the U.S. today.

Panasonic System Networks Company of America, a long-time leader in business telephone systems for small and mid-sized businesses, furthered its partnership with Gold Partner Poltys Inc. to offer healthcare facilities a real-time alarm and notification solution. Direct Care Connect from Poltys is a server-based application that sits between a nurse call system and a Panasonic phone system (KX-TDE, KX-NCP or KX-TDA), providing an integrated solution package for assisted living facilities, nursing homes, small hospitals and other medical offices (target facility size is 50-200 beds). The combination of a Panasonic phone system, a nurse call system and the Poltys application provides a complete healthcare solution that streamlines an often disjointed array of technology and devices.

Targeting the healthcare market is a good strategy. According to a 2011 CRN survey of 384 IT solution providers in North America, the healthcare market shows the most promise compared to other industries such as financial services, manufacturing and education, with about 45 percent of the providers anticipating increased sales in the healthcare industry.  “The U.S. market for healthcare now, on a pure economic basis, is the most attractive single market in the U.S.,” said Scott Lundstrom, vice president of research for IDC (News - Alert) Health Insights who spoke at the XChange Public Sector event in Jacksonville, FL last June. Lundstrom cites the combination of stimulus funding, healthcare reform and the need for efficiently deployed health care technology as the main drivers of this massive market opportunity.

Here is how it works. The Poltys Direct Care Connect software application runs on a server connected to a nurse call system (alarm controller and alarm points in patient rooms) and to a Panasonic phone system. (Poltys does not sell nurse call systems, but is compatible with a variety of these.) The software relays alarms to a caregiver’s cordless DECT handset when a patient pushes an alarm button or pulls an alarm cord. A GUI on the DECT handset gives the caregiver (e.g. nurse or doctor) three options: (1) to acknowledge the alarm (indicating they will handle the patient’s request) or (2) to escalate the patient request to an alternate responder, or (3) to reply to the patient with a return phone call. The Direct Care Connect software also collects, sorts and filters data to generate reports and graphs that aid in staffing and workflow optimization. The solution supports up to 128 nurse groups and 512 patient alarm buttons/pull cords.

Caregivers utilize one of five Panasonic DECT handsets, including three KX-TD7600 Series DECT handsets and two newer KX-WT120 handsets. KX-TD7600 DECT phones come in three models: Standard (KX-TD7685), Compact (KX-TD7695) and Ruggedized (KX-TD7696). The two newer handsets, KX-WT125/126, are considered entry-level models with a lower price point, but with a good complement of features and some differentiators such as background noise reduction technology, a 1.8-inch white, backlit display and an illuminated keypad for low-light environments.

Direct Care Connect from Poltys is new for Panasonic systems in the USA. Direct Care Connect works with Panasonic KX-TDE, KX-NCP and KX-TDA V3.0 or higher phone systems and Panasonic’s KX-TD7600 and KX-WT120 DECT phones. As part of the partnership, Poltys has certified a subset of its products (referred to as Panasonic Certified Products) to be CSTA interoperable with Panasonic PBXs (either via in-house self-certification or Panasonic laboratory certification). Other Poltys applications available for Panasonic phone systems include contact center, meet-me conferencing, IVR and CTI (News - Alert) applications. 

Sandra M. Gustavsen, business VoIP analyst, contributes her Business VoIP column to TMCnet. To read more of Sandra's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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