CHOC is taking the concepts of second-opinion consultation and tumor board planning at least six steps further. CHOC has partnered with CISCO to bring top pediatric oncologists from six leading institutions into the same “virtual” room. The hospital is the hub for the Virtual Pediatric Network (VPN), which offers an unprecedented, collaborative approach to treating some of the rarest, most complicated cancers in children and adolescents.
The VPN is comprised of five medical centers and one research institute for genomic medicine: CHOC, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children, Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and the Translational Genomics Research Institute. All are connected through the CISCO TelePresence video conferencing system, a secure network made available by a grant from CISCO to the CHOC Foundation.
“We can have some very in-depth scientific and clinical discussions about the disease that will allow physicians to think about cancer in ways they have not done so before,” said Dr. Leonard Sender, medical director, Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC. “This will lead to potentially better science and provide pediatric patients the greatest opportunities for survival and quality of life.”
The CISCO TelePresence system offers the highest level of video conferencing technology available. Optimized for exceptional sound and picture quality, the system captures every expression, gesture and voice inflection, creating a collaborative environment that leads to deeper discussion, enhanced information sharing and improved decision making.
“No one institution can be an expert in every cancer, but with the VPN, these hospitals can work together to bring the best care to patients wherever they may live,” Dr. Sender said. “It’s an opportunity to leverage technology to allow for greater collaboration, innovation and, hopefully, collective intelligence between children’s hospitals and cancer programs.”
The VPN has the potential to standardize and improve care for pediatric patients throughout the world, Dr. Sender added. CHOC and CISCO are already planning to expand the network to additional locations and specialties, including pediatric institutions in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Click here for more information about the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC.