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S. Korea brings healthcare to prisoners through telemedicine

Veronica C. Silva | May 11, 2011
Korea Correctional Facilities cuts costs by bringing doctors to prisoners.

South Korea's Correctional Facilities is bringing healthcare services to prisoners in four remote facilities through a telepresence system it recently installed.

Prisoners from the remote facilities in Daegu, Jinju, Gongju and Cheongju can now get a comprehensive range of healthcare services in real-time sans the public safety risks and expenses involved in transporting prisoners to healthcare facilities.

Aside from the usual psychiatry and dermatology assessment, the telemedicine system can also provide ophthalmology, internal medicine and orthopedics assessment with less waiting time.

Best of all, the telepresence capabilities allow the South Korean government to re-channel their resources to doing other administration tasks without neglecting the health of the prisoners in their care.

UC platform

The telepresence system was installed by Polycom through local partner Yoosin C&C.

Polycom South Korea said in a statement that the Korea Correctional Facilities of the Ministry of Justice installed the 14 Polycom HDX 6000 room telepresence systems with the Polycom UC Intelligent Core standards-based UC platform.

The Polycom system supports the H.264 High Profile, a standards-based video compression technology that delivers high quality video using less bandwidth.

The Health Care Division, Korean Correctional Facilities of the Ministry of Justice said in the same statement that the telemedicine system was "urgently needed by the prisons". With Polycom's system, the government was able to achieve its objectives of improving their operations by delivering a high level of patient care while stretching their resources further.

Dae-Jun Shin, country manager, Korea Polycom, said Polycom is expecting the correctional facilities installation to "generate greater awareness for telemedicine applications across the healthcare and government sectors in South Korea in the years to come."

"Polycom is continuing to deliver innovative best-of-breed telemedicine applications that meet the ongoing demands of today's healthcare organisations," Shin added.

The Polycom press statement added that the Korea Correctional Facilities has been at the forefront of telemedicine application since 2005.

The first telemedicine system was launched at Anyang Prison in 2005 for elderly and chronic patients. The system has since been expanded to other correctional facilities in the country.


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