December 14, 1999
Johns Hopkins Medicine and Lucent Technologies (NYSE:LU) today announced an agreement to promote worldwide telemedicine applications through the use of information technology.
Under the agreement, Lucent and Johns Hopkins International L.L.C. (JHI) – formed earlier this year to advance the international objectives of Johns Hopkins Medicine – will jointly design a secure, high-speed network to support Hopkins' growing telemedicine applications and to manage incoming and outgoing information. The network also is expected to make it easier for patients from around the world to access Hopkins physicians and facilities.
Hopkins will develop international offerings in the areas of health care consulting, patient services, education and training, while Lucent will provide hardware, software and the networking expertise required to support these services.
"The new medical information management and delivery network will position Hopkins to extend its medical expertise to the far corners of the world," said Steven Thompson, CEO of Johns Hopkins International.
"There is a growing demand in many parts of the world for the innovative medical services that Hopkins is known for," he said. "We want to meet that demand at Hopkins in a way that never existed before. The issue is no longer distance, it's time, and working with Lucent, we can tailor a sophisticated network that serves customers from the USA to Hong Kong."
According to Jim O'Neill, president of Lucent's Government Solutions business, there is a growing global market for communications networks to support health and human services agencies.
"We estimate that there's a multibillion dollar market for global health care. And in the international arena, these are typically government initiatives," O'Neill said. "We're looking forward to working with Hopkins to pursue these initiatives so that hospitals and clinics around the world will have the opportunity to access the resources Hopkins provides."
Under terms of the agreement, Lucent will provide:
- A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system based on Lucent's CRM products and services --including a comprehensive suite of software to assist Hopkins with customer contact and information management.
- The Lucent Managed Firewall to ensure the confidentiality of patient records.
- Hardware and software to support patient assessment and continuing education through, video e-mail, diagnostic image and record transfer; an archived video library for publications and video versions of Hopkins' grand rounds; as well as third-party products to permit real-time telerobotic-assisted surgery.
- State-of-the art telephony, data, video and wireless products and the network systems required by medical facilities to implement telemedicine programs.
- Development of local-area communications networks within Hopkins in East Baltimore, as well as a wide-area Virtual Private Network linking JHI sites with Hopkins in the U.S. These will be "converged" networks supporting integrated voice, video and data transmission.
- Integration of quality assurance and billing software.
"Crucial to our view of a global health care enterprise is a communications network that unites our distant centers and home base," said Edward D. Miller, M.D., CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine and dean of its medical faculty. "Lucent's technology permits real-time interactive communications that not only help provide better health care at the local level, but also enhance the continuing education and training of physicians throughout the world. And, with a Johns Hopkins Global Patient Access Program, when patients need specialized medical services not available locally, they will have a much easier time coming to Hopkins."
According to William A. Baumgartner, M.D., director of cardiac surgery and president of Hopkins' Clinical Practice Association, "Hopkins and Lucent Technologies bring together excellence in medicine and telecommunications, and promise the quality and expertise to further develop and refine our telemedicine capabilities."
Johns Hopkins Medicine, established in 1995 to unite Hopkins' biomedical research, clinical, teaching and business enterprises, includes The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Howard County General Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medical Services Corporation, Johns Hopkins Bayview Physicians, Johns Hopkins HealthCare and Johns Hopkins Home Care Group. The $1.8 billion enterprise is one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland. Its components consistently are named at the top of national rankings for best hospital and best School of Medicine, and its faculty consistently wins the largest share of NIH research funds. Results of this research continue to advance efforts to diagnose, treat and prevent many diseases.
Johns Hopkins International L.L.C. was established last January to serve as the corporate arm of Johns Hopkins Medicine that enters into international agreements. In addition, JHI assists foreign patients coming to Hopkins in Baltimore; assists faculty, staff and administration in dealing with international heath care issues; and develops new international business opportunities. Components of JHI include telemedicine, an area of medicine that Hopkins has helped pioneer, international patient services, international health care consulting services, Johns Hopkins Singapore and Johns Hopkins Singapore Clinical Services, and the new office in the United Arab Emirates.
Lucent Technologies, headquartered in Murray Hill, N.J., designs, builds and delivers a wide range of public and private networks, communications systems and software, data networking systems, business telephone systems and microelectronic components. Bell Labs is the research and development arm for the company. For more information on Lucent Technologies, visit the company's Internet Web site at http://www.lucent.com.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. What is the cost of developing this global telemedicine network? Who is paying for the project?
We aren't disclosing the terms of the agreement.
2. What are the details of the partnership?
Lucent will function as Johns Hopkins' "one-stop" technology alliance partner. Johns Hopkins will be responsible for the surgical/clinical applications used for telemedicine, while Lucent will be responsible for integrating those applications into an international network for telemedicine and continuing education.
3. When will development of the network begin? Complete?
Work is already under way, and we expect it will take approximately four to six months to fully install the hardware and software Hopkins needs for the new network. Certain components of the system will be operational in advance of the total network, especially in those instances where an existing network will be used and adapted for telemedicine applications.
4. What countries will take part in using the network?
We're actively talking to health care organizations in the Middle East, Asia, eastern Europe and Africa, but I'm not at liberty to disclose the details at this time.
5. How will this network be used to enhance physician medical education and training internationally?
This network can be used to enhance physician medical education and training internationally by establishing contact between foreign physicians and Hopkins faculty. This will enable physicians in other countries to learn about John Hopkins International's developing programs in medical training and distance learning.
6. Is this network intended to compete for patients with physicians in other nations?
No. In fact this service should enhance the physician's ability to maintain and treat the patient locally. All requests will come through a regional physician. And the network will offer the option of quality second opinions, mentoring and actual surgical/clinical assistance.
7. How will this network benefit international physicians and their patients?
International physicians will have the resources and expertise available to verify diagnoses, recommend or collaborate on treatment plans, and/or offer alternative treatment options. As treatment progresses, follow-up consultation can be provided, including video-conferencing. This capability will offer the local doctor the ability to deliver treatment locally and will often eliminate the need for patients to travel for a second opinion or specialty care. If the decision is to send the patient to JHM for treatment or consultation, the medical record and diagnostic studies can be forwarded electronically between Johns Hopkins and the referring physician throughout the course of treatment.
8. How will this new network fit into Johns Hopkins' existing international patient program?
This will enhance the existing services by providing one access point for telemedicine consults as well as coordination of the arrangements for patient appointments and visits. The Lucent network architecture will consist of a Workflow management process integrated with existing JHM information systems. The entire patient process will be available to all involved staff at JHM as well as referring physicians in real time so that communication and information can be transmitted in an efficient, effective and secure manner.
9. Why is Lucent's "Government Solutions" business your partner for this initiative?
In many instances, international health and human services initiatives are funded by governments or by government-supported health care organizations. Further, our intention is to leverage the experience Lucent's Government Solutions team has gained with the U.S. government into the international arena. The GS team will work with Lucent representatives in the more than 90 countries where Lucent resides today to deliver an integrated solution.
10. Is the billing software you mention based on technology from Kenan Systems?
Initially no, though we may integrate elements of their software as the network evolves.