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Pioneering Video Conferencing: Polycom CEO Bob Hagerty (Part 10)

Posted on Friday, Nov 30th 2007

SM: How would that work? The doctor’s office has to buy the Polycom suite?

BH: The best example I have seen is Escorts Hospital in India. There, the population is not served well in rural areas. They have outreach clinics and they have our device in a regional center. People will come into the regional center, and an attendant (versus a physician) will be there. They complain about an earache and it can be diagnosed remotely. It is a highly productive way to do telemedicine.

SM: Who came up with the application? Did the hospital or your people come up with it?

BH: Like most things in innovation, it was a little bit of everyone. There are many inventors and innovators in a single product, and in that space. It took an innovative hospital to step up and contribute back to the community in this particular manner. They had to decide how many to deploy.

SM: That is a great use case.

BH: We can get you white papers galore on various use cases. There is another one. We strategically partner with two groups. One is called Medical Missions for Children. It is run by Frank and Peg Brady. They are a charity whom we donate equipment and money to. They set up expert hospitals in NY and New Jersey, and connect them with hospitals in emerging countries. They built the network to remote doctors, and the remote doctors bring the impossible cases via video and connect to the best doctors in the world. They do this every day of the week, and they are networking the worst types of problems in the world. We have great doctors in these countries, but they are up against a one in a million case. It is an incredible process to watch.

SM: One of the things I am covering right now is the early stage venture capital market in India. There are a whole bunch of opportunities in India right now, and the model you have talked about, the hub and spoke situation in India due to the 8 major cities, makes this an interesting opportunity.

BH: You need it for good governance as well. India has been one of the leaders in terms of good governance. I don’t mean Sarbanes Oxley.

SM: Are you talking about the Hyderabad case?

BH: I do not know that one.

SM: A chief minister of a state installed video conferencing in the rural constituencies in order to be in touch with them as an e-governance measure.

BH: India is so far ahead in terms of e-governance. We were talking to the education ministry four years ago and they were doing it. It is a movement. This e-governance is huge. It is fantastic.

SM: Where I think it would be interesting for you to collaborate is with the early stage venture capitalists in India, because there are so many applications to deploy. Education is a huge problem with this population.

BH: We are at the stage where we would get overwhelmed.

This segment is part 10 in the series : Pioneering Video Conferencing: Polycom CEO Bob Hagerty
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