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SPRINT DELIVERS EXPERT MEDICAL OPINIONS TO RURAL NEW YORK HOSPITALS

 SPRINT DELIVERS EXPERT MEDICAL OPINIONS
 TO RURAL NEW YORK HOSPITALS
 KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Hospital patients in rural communities throughout New York state will have access to improved medical care and will no longer have to drive hundreds of miles for specialized medical services as a result of a new contract between the Western New York Rural Healthcare Cooperative and Sprint (NYSE: FON).
 The Cooperative signed a three-year contract valued at $5.4 million to join Sprint's Healthcare Application Network Delivery Service -- HANDS. The contract was announced at a joint news conference with New York Congressman Amo Houghton, who announced the formation of a program to provide an advanced telecommunications link between rural medical facilities in Western and the Southern Tier of New York and medical specialists across the country.
 HANDS, the only nationwide shared public healthcare network designed for the medical community, will play a major role in the congressman's rural healthcare program. HANDS will enable hospitals in New York to send and receive diagnoses from medical experts anywhere in the United States by sending diagnostic-quality X-rays, sonograms, echocardiograms, thermograms, angiograms, MRIs, and CT and PET scans in seconds over Sprint's all digital, fiber-optic network.
 "HANDS enables rural patients in New York to have access to the best medical advice in the world," said Scott Parisella, chief executive officer of the Western New York Rural Healthcare Cooperative. "The technology to bring the best diagnostic tools and minds to our rural hospitals is going to benefit many people in ways never imagined before."
 With HANDS, a pregnant woman can be given a sonogram by her own obstetrician at a rural hospital. The sonogram image is sent in electronic form via the Sprint network to an expert diagnostician at a major medical center. Within minutes the diagnostician can make a diagnosis of the baby's condition and confer with the primary care doctor via videoconference. Neither the patient nor the doctors need to travel for the diagnosis and yet the best course of treatment can be recommended.
 "If rural America expects to compete with the larger cities, it needs to be on the cutting edge of technology," said Houghton. "Whether it is in travel, communications or the medical field, we have to stay ahead of the curve. Fiber optics and telecommunications will be to the late 1990s what airline travel was to the early 1960s and railroad travel was to the 1930s. This is a very exciting time."
 The purpose of the congressman's program and the HANDS contract announced today is to improve rural healthcare in the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes and Western sections of New York state. Projects such as this further his hopes of rewiring rural America so that it can compete with larger, metropolitan areas for business.
 "This project will clearly demonstrate what fiber-optic technology is all about -- improving people's lives," said John Haines, director of Healthcare Sales for Sprint. "People will be able to get the best medical technology and expertise in the country -- no matter where they live -- by using the HANDS network."
 Marc Subject, chief executive officer of Cuba Memorial Hospital, said, "For the HANDS participant, the future is now. We now have the technology to expand the array of medical options available to rural patients, who will no longer need to travel great distances to take advantage of specialized medical equipment or consultation services."
 HANDS is Sprint's package of integrated voice, data and video telecommunications services developed for the medical community. Services provided through this package include WATS, 800 number service, long distance, videoconferencing and the high-speed transmission of diagnostic-quality medical images.
 Sprint is a diversified international telecommunications company with $8.8 billion in annual revenues and the United States' only nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network. Its divisions provide global long distance voice, data and video products and services, and local telephone services to more than 4 million subscriber lines in 17 states.
 -0- 7/16/92
 /NOTE: HANDS is a registered trademark./
 /CONTACT: Robin Pence, 202-828-7454 or, after hours, 703-820-1873, or Robin Carlson, 202-828-7426 or, after hours, 703-573-8364, both of Sprint/
 (FON) CO: Sprint; Western New York Healthcare Cooperative ST: New York IN: TLS HEA SU: CON


DC -- DC006 -- 9674 07/16/92 11:38 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 16, 1992
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