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March 2008 | Volume 11/ Number 3
The VoIP Authority

Super Trip

"> A day after the Super Bowl, and a day before Super Tuesday, I was fortunate enough to find myself in Phoenix, Arizona on the road again and in the offices of a number of companies who are each in their own way contributing to the continuing growth of the IP communications industry.

In fact, the very last meeting of the trip took place in the lobby of the world-famous Arizona Biltmore Hotel, which was the headquarters hotel of John McCain’s campaign in his home state on the night that he won that particular state’s primary. (In order to avoid a ‘Dewey Beats Truman’ legacy, I will note that only 1% of the results had been counted as I wrote this. If Ron Paul somehow pulls this one out, I’ll update this column online, in my blog.)

But more to the point, that meeting at the Arizona Biltmore was with Craig Steen, President of IgeaCare, USA. The company’s parent IgeaCare Systems, Inc., is based in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada.

IgeaCare Systems manufactures telephony-based communication systems, but what makes them unique is their focus on the healthcare market, with a variety of solutions targeting that particular market.

Steen told TMC of the company’s commitment to focus on two areas, healthcare and emergency response mass notification.

Regarding emergency response mass notification, IgeaCare offers the eResponse solution.

The solution is designed to deliver rapid contact between Healthcare institutions, Public Relations or Safety Teams and their targeted or mandated contact groups. The solution delivers messages via a number of different media, including text-to-voice, SMS, and mass visual notification, which enables emergency messages to be sent to and displayed on large screens.

The solution, which is positioned for first responders, is deployed as a server-based offering. Steen told TMC that IgeaCare, working through their VoiceGate division, designed and deployed a custom solution for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police five years ago, in order to allow them to call in their special agents and SWAT teams when desperate situations call for it. The solution is also applicable to other vertical markets, including K–12, hospitality, and retail.

On the healthcare side, Steen spoke of the current aging trend in America. “We’re all getting older,” he said. Analysts are pointing to 11–20 percent growth in the number of beds that are forecast to increase the capacity of retirement homes, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes.

To that end, IgeaCare has developed a Nurse Call solution. The IgeaCom series is designed to seamlessly integrate all the functions of a traditional nurse call system, while providing unsurpassed reliability through telephony-based technology. The IgeaCom series of offerings enables the whole gamut of calling patterns: resident-to-staff, staff-to-resident, and resident outgoing and incoming local and long distance calls. The IgeaCom solution is also designed to seamlessly integrate with many current PBXs on the market.

Another healthcare solution, the real-time location system, gives users the ability to locate patients, staff, and assets. The real-time location system overlays quite nicely with the nurse call system, Steen said.

The final offering Steen spoke of was the company’s HealthAnywhere home healthcare product. The product came to IgeaCare through an acquisition of VaaSah Inc., a company specializing in chronic disease management technology solutions. The solution is designed to be deployed on a number of portable devices, such as a smartphone, a PDA or a tablet PC.

By monitoring a patient’s vitals, such as blood pressure, weight, temperature, and so forth, the solution ensures that healthcare professionals are able to initiate a call to the patient so that they might follow up with further instructions regarding the patient’s care.

IgeaCare is playing in a very exciting space, one that is forecast to grow on all fronts. It’s true, as Steen said, that we’re all getting older, and projections are all indicating increased opportunity for all the various service industries that will no doubt pop up to service the baby boomer generation as they start to retire and enter their ‘golden years’.

Through a variety of innovative telephony-based solutions targeting the healthcare market, IgeaCare is well-positioned to take advantage of the market opportunity as it arises. IT

– Greg Galitzine is Group Editorial Director for TMC.

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