PLEASANTON, Calif., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Polycom(R), Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the world's leading provider of unified collaborative communications solutions, today announced four winners of Elliot Gold's "Wild & Unexpected Applications" awards presented at this year's Polycom User Group (PUG) Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. The four winners include VideoCare, South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Canadian Surgical Technologies & Advanced Robotics (CSTAR) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). This year's winners were selected by an editorial panel from TeleSpan, led by Joyce Thompson from JHT Consulting, which ranked the contenders first through third place. VideoCare received first place for the launch of its Telestroke program. Second place went to South Korea and the DPRK for successfully connecting families separated by the boundaries of the Korean War. Tied for third place, CSTAR was selected for its virtual surgery program and BIDMC for its expansive Interpreter's Care Link network. "These awards are a reflection of how Polycom's customers are focusing beyond the everyday use of video conferencing and expanding collaboration through innovative ideas and programs," said Elliot Gold, president of TeleSpan (www.telespan.com). "These winners demonstrate the value of video which goes beyond improving the experience of virtual face-to-face meetings to real mission-critical applications such as telemedicine." First Place Winner - VideoCare In August of 2005, first place winner VideoCare launched Southwestern Ontario's first Telestroke initiative through the use of Polycom's video telemedicine solutions. The program provided rural stroke patients with exposure to the most up-to-date and time sensitive stroke treatment. Through Telestroke technology, the stroke team in London, Ontario, is directly connected to rural hospitals via video, allowing specialists to assess stroke patients in real time from 67 sites. "When it comes to treating a stroke, there is a crucial three-hour window from the onset. During this period, the stroke victim must receive the clot- busting drug, tPA, which offers a 42% chance of patient improvement," said Dr. Neil Maclean, project manager for VideoCare. "The Telestroke program has eliminated geography as a barrier to providing the best stroke care possible to our patients." Second Place Winner - The governments of South Korea and DPRK The second place winners, South Korea and DPRK, facilitated the first-ever video conference reunion on August 15, 2005 between families separated by the Korean War. Linked by fiber-optic cables and a video conference connection on, 20 separated families in the South Korean city of Munsan and DPRK's Kaeseong were reunited for the first time since the 1950s. The video conferences were particularly poignant at this time in history as members of the Korean families age and generations pass on. Third Place Winners - CSTAR and BIDMC Tied for third place, CSTAR, a branch of the London Health Sciences Center (LHSC), is Canada's national center for developing, testing and teaching the use of next-generation technologies for minimally invasive procedures. Affiliated with the University of Western Ontario, CSTAR uses Polycom video conferencing technology to teach minimally invasive surgical skills remotely to surgeons located hundreds or thousands of miles away. CSTAR has also developed a tele-surgery program connecting doctors from the operating rooms back to CSTAR, where a more experienced doctor can virtually "see" the patient and help guide the operating doctor through the procedure. Sharing third place honors with CSTAR is BIDMC located in the heart of Boston's medical community. The medical center faced several challenges as they attempted to provide their non-English speaking patients with advanced medical services. "On average, BIDMC's ER receives more than 900 Russian speaking patients every year, nearly 900 who speak Spanish and hundreds more whose first language is Chinese, Farsi, Portuguese or Somali," said Julie Lytle, telemedicine coordinator for BIDMC. "The hospital found it necessary to connect a full-time staff of trained interpreters fluent in seven languages to assist its non-English speaking patients via video conferencing." The hospital's Interpreter's Care Link was developed to connect BIDMC's full-time staff of interpreters located at the far end of the organization's 32-acre campus directly to the ER using video conferencing, eliminating any lag in delivering care due to travel time. About TeleSpan TeleSpan provides research reports that track the teleconferencing industry and publishes a newsletter on the subject called Electronic TeleSpan. The company, often referred to as "the authoritative source," has followed the teleconferencing, videoconferencing, and Webconferencing industry for 21 years. TeleSpan's Web site features a Buyer's Guide and tutorial on the various products and services available for teleconferencing. TeleSpan and its President, Elliot M. Gold, can be reached at +1-626-797-5482, www.telespan.com, or by e-mail at Elliot@telespan.com. About VideoCare VideoCare, the Southwestern Ontario Tele-health Network has introduced a 57-site video conferencing network in the hospitals of Southwestern Ontario. This network is designed to extend both existing and proposed medical services across the entire region through video consultation. Local doctors and other healthcare workers find that VideoCare gives them the ability to have more direct input into their patients' treatment. This sharing of resources improves communication and the result is a more effective healthcare system. About CSTAR Navigating human technology. Revolutionizing patient care - CSTAR is pushing the frontiers of medicine toward an incredible future. We are Canada's national centre for developing and testing the next generation of minimally invasive surgeries, including robotics. And we're a world leader in surgical innovation and training, teaching space-age technologies and new techniques to the surgeons of the future. www.c-star.ca. About Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a major patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.harvard.edu. About Polycom Polycom, Inc. is the worldwide leader in unified collaborative communications (UCC) that maximize the efficiency and productivity of people and organizations by integrating the broadest array of video, voice, data and Web solutions to deliver the ultimate communications experience. Polycom's high quality, standards-based conferencing and collaboration solutions are easy to deploy and manage, as well as intuitive to use. Supported by an open architecture, they integrate seamlessly with leading telephony and presence- based networks. With its market-driving technologies, best-in-class products, alliance partnerships, and world-class service, Polycom is the smart choice for organizations seeking proven solutions and a competitive advantage in real-time communications and collaboration. For additional information call 1-800-POLYCOM (765-9266) or +1-408-526-9000, or visit the Polycom Web site at www.polycom.com. NOTE: Polycom, the Polycom logo and SoundStation are registered trademarks and SoundStation2W and VSX are trademarks of Polycom in the U.S. and various countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
SOURCE Polycom, Inc.