UnitedHealth Group and Cisco have partnered to build the first national telehealth network. The new "Connected Care" program combines Cisco technology with health resources to expand physicians’ reach into rural and underserved areas.

Cisco HealthPresence will be one of the principal technologies enabling Connected Care, using video, audio and medical information to create an experience similar to an in-person visit with a doctor.

UnitedHealth Group’s national network, includes 590,000 physicians and care professionals and more than 4,900 hospitals. UnitedHealth Group has committed tens of millions of dollars toward the new initiative.

Connected Care is being built on an open network that will integrate multiple vendors’ technologies with Electronic Health Records and other IT platforms. The program will enable real-time connectivity among health professionals across the country. Cisco’s Contact Center facilitates the intelligent routing of caregiver communications, and its network security technology ensures that communications between patients and staff is secure.

The two companies successfully tested the Connected Care program in a pilot with Cisco employees in San Jose, CA, over a recent, seven-month period.

(For more on telehealth, click here).

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