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For further information, contact:
Shari Worthington, PR Counsel, +1 508-755-5242
Tim Shimer, President & CEO, +1 215-822-3231

Telemedicine Solutions in Healthcare Partners with Hope Hospice to Provide Home-Bound Patients with Remote Access to Professional Staff

24x7 service will improve care, increase comfort and support for terminally patients and their families

Arlington, VA (December 3, 2001) - Telemedicine Solutions in Healthcare (TSH), a rapidly growing provider of telehealth management services across the US, announced at the NHPCO Management and Leadership Conference that the company has signed a letter of intent with Hope Hospice of Fort Myers, Florida, to provide terminally ill patients and their families with remote access to hospice professionals from their homes. Under the agreement, TSH will recommend and implement a videophone service that will bring greater physical and emotional comfort to hospice patients while improving the ability of hospice staff to handle unexpected events. The "video visits" will supplement regular home visits and be available around the clock.

"Caring for a terminally ill loved one can be very frightening," explained Samira Beckwith, President and CEO of Hope Hospice. "The videophone service will help us provide education and support to strengthen the ability of family members to care for a patient at home, while feeling confident and in control. For their part, terminally ill patients are typically very concerned about being a burden on family members. Knowing that this type of service is available to assist home caregivers will help put patients' minds at ease and make a stressful situation more bearable."

As technical consultant for the Hope Hospice telecare program, TSH will be responsible for recommending equipment, conducting training, assisting in the implementation, conducting training, and providing ongoing support for a network that is expected to serve hundreds of home-bound hospice patients. TSH will also help Hope Hospice identify additional areas where videphone technology can further enhance patient care.

Hospice Care Meets Video Communications

Whenever there is an unexpected change in condition, Hope Hospice patients or family members will be able to use a videophone to contact the nurse on call, who is equipped with her own unit. The videophone provides capabilities not available with a standard telephone, such as the ability to view changes in a patient's appearance. A nurse can also use a videophone to demonstrate a procedure and see if it is being done correctly. Another benefit is the ability to detect problems with equipment - for example, if an IV pump is beeping, the camera could show that the tubing is crimped. Finally, the ability to make eye contact with patients and family members is perhaps the most important benefit of all, providing much needed reassurance and emotional support.

In addition to providing patients with direct access to a hospice nurse, the videophone also allows face-to-face contact with a team of hospice professionals. Depending on the problem, the nurse can pass the video call to a physician, psychologist, or other care provider. The nurse can also use the video capability to determine whether an emergency physical visit is necessary. The result is more effective management of patient care.

"This technology helps remove the sense of isolation faced by many terminally ill patients and their families," said Tim Shimer, Chief Executive Officer for TSH. "The units are as easy to use as a regular telephone, while providing the huge advantage of visual communication. In a home hospice setting, where a patient's physical condition and emotional state can change suddenly, this added dimension dramatically improves the ability of a hospice organization to deliver quality care."

State of Florida to Provide Funding

The State of Florida is providing Hope Hospice with a major appropriation to fund the project. Hope Hospice will serve as a model for other Florida hospice organizations and healthcare providers that are interested in utilizing videophone technology to enhance patient care.

About Hope Hospice

Hope Hospice & Palliative Care (Fort Meyers, Florida) is a not-for-profit, community-based health care organization serving patients and their families dealing with life-limiting illness. Its extensive services provide care, comfort, and support to people living with complex needs and issues related to end-of-life. Hope Hospice operates residential facilities and provides home care services to over 500 patients daily in Lee, Hendry, and Glades counties in southwest Florida.

About Telemedicine Solutions in Healthcare, LLC

Telemedicine Solutions in Healthcare is a telehealth management company providing integrated, comprehensive telemedicine programs to a variety of healthcare providers. Its experienced senior management team offers seasoned abilities to identify program opportunities, select appropriate equipment and training, resolve legal and regulatory issues, prepare and assist in grant-writing opportunities, and maintain an on-going management relationship with an implemented tele-health program. TSH's goals are to reduce startup time and costs for such programs and continue to lead the way for organizations attempting to navigate the telemedicine labyrinth. The company can be reached at 215-822-3231 or via e-mail at .

For further information, contact:
Tim Shimer, Chief Executive Officer
Telemedicine Solutions in Healthcare
39 Deerpath Road
Chalfont, PA 18914
+1 215-822-3231
Fax: +1 215-822-6086

Bob Johnson, Director of Special Projects
Hope Hospice
9470 HealthPark Circle
Fort Meyers, FL 33908
+1 914-433-8074

PR Office:
Shari Worthington, President
Telesian Technology
49 Midgley Lane
Worcester, MA 01604 USA
+1 508-755-5242
Fax: +1 508-795-1636