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Polycom to target medical market in China

By Zheng Xin | China Daily | Updated: 2013-05-16 05:07

Polycom Inc, the US-based unified communications provider, says it is expanding its investment in China to target mainly the medical market, a major user of its services.

Andy Miller, the company's CEO, said remote medical services are expected to continue to be a huge growth market in China.

Unified communications involves integrating various types of communications system, to optimize business processes, such as video conferencing and video services.

"The development of video conferencing technology has penetrated into people's everyday lives and the medical field is definitely one of the most significant driving forces," Miller said.

Polycom's RealPresence mobile service enables video conferencing on mobile devices using IOS and Android systems, and was highly effective recently when it allowed communication between medical staff and a seven-year-old child who was infected with H7N9 bird flu.

Steven Li, Polycom's vice-president of Greater China, added: "It enabled the prompt communication of treatment information between patient, doctors and relatives. It saves lives."

Chinese manufacturers Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp, as well as a number of startups, are also targeting the Chinese video-conferencing market, including the medical services sector. More companies, including many small and medium-sized enterprises, are opting to install such systems to save on travel costs.

International Data Corporation, the market intelligence service which specializes in technology and communications sectors, recently predicted the Chinese unified communications and collaboration market will grow 20 percent annually over the next five years, and will be worth $2.53 billion by 2017.

It called video conferencing one of the most significant driving forces of the unified communications sector.

A separate report by Forrester Research Inc, the independent business and technology research company, claimed that video conferencing and face-to-face video collaboration significantly increase productivity and efficiency, and lower costs.

Polycom now claims more than 51 percent of China's video-conferencing market.

The company has increased its engineering staff in China, from less than 200 in 2011 to 500 people, who are mainly involved in local product development.

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