SOURCE: Bosch

Bosch

April 29, 2009 14:01 ET

New Brand Presented: Bosch Healthcare Offers Individual Telehealth Solutions and a Broad Range of Successful Products

STUTTGART, GERMANY and LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - April 29, 2009) -



-- "Invented for Life" for the Benefit of Patients

-- Acquisition of ViTelNet Rounds Off Product Portfolio

-- Health Buddy System Convinces Users and Providers

At the American Telehealth Meeting in Las Vegas, the Bosch Group will announce the debut of the Bosch Healthcare subsidiary and umbrella brand, which encompasses a full range of telehealth products and services. The newly established subsidiary will include all international operating units in the area of telehealth, which aims to extend healthcare outside the traditional institutional walls of healthcare systems, and into individuals' homes and lives.

"We are now optimally positioned to develop this still young, but highly dynamic market, enabling us to respond with customized solutions to the very different needs of our customers," said Derek Newell, Vice President of Bosch Healthcare for North America. The product spectrum ranges from patient interfaces, through fast and secure data transmission, to comprehensive analysis software for clinicians. "The motto of the entire Bosch Group is 'Invented for life.' This becomes particularly clear in the context of telehealth," Newell said at the event, which is organized by the American Telemedicine Association (ATA).

Proven telehealth systems for patient empowerment

The Bosch Healthcare brand may be new, but its products have been successful for a number of years, especially in the U.S. One core of the company's activities is the Health Buddy System developed by the former Health Hero Network, based in Palo Alto, California. The Bosch Group acquired Health Hero Network in 2007. As of the ATA meeting, Health Hero Network will officially be rebranded Robert Bosch Healthcare, and the Health Hero Network name will be discontinued. The Health Buddy System product line name and brand will be retained.

Tens of thousands of patients in the United States currently use this telehealth solution. The Health Buddy System assesses individuals with chronic conditions, gathering information not only about their vital signs and symptoms, but also about their behavior and their knowledge of their condition. They are provided with feedback that allows them to better manage their conditions. The results of the assessments are transmitted to healthcare professionals who can identify complications early -- before a patient might need to be admitted to a hospital. The end result: A higher quality of life for patients, and lower costs for their care. The Health Buddy System is currently used to support patients with a wide variety of conditions, including cardiovascular and pulmonary disease and diabetes.

ViTelNet complements range of services

The acquisition of Visual Telecommunication Network (ViTelNet) at the beginning of April 2009 is a further significant addition to the range of telehealth services offered under the Bosch Healthcare umbrella. The McLean, Virginia, based company has established a name for itself in recent years as a developer of robust telehealth hardware, including high-quality and innovative touch screen-based systems. The ViTelNet telehealth system also offers highly flexible integration with customer systems.

"With the acquisitions of ViTelNet and Health Hero Network, Bosch Healthcare is able to present its customers individual solutions in the field of telehealth. Our merging product line enables Bosch to develop increasingly customized solutions that can meet the needs of a wide range of partners in diverse healthcare systems around the world," said Sascha Henke, Vice President Sales Europe of Bosch Healthcare.

In the U.S., both ViTelNet and Health Hero Network are leading suppliers of telehealth technology to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Health Hero Network is also a prime contractor for a Medicare demonstration program that began in 2006. The success of this program in improving the care of and reducing costs for Medicare beneficiaries has led to its being extended. And at the beginning of this year, a cooperation agreement was signed with the services provider Healthways for joint use of more than 150 patents in the area of telehealth and disease management.

In Germany, a first pilot study is to be launched with the hospital operator Asklepios in the coming few weeks. The objective of this project is to use telehealth solutions to monitor patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). For more than two years, Bosch has been involved in the "Partnership for the Heart" project, together with the Charité Medical School in Berlin and the Robert Bosch Hospital in Stuttgart. This study -- the most extensive of its kind, encompassing more than 600 congestive heart failure (CHF) patients -- hopes to scientifically substantiate the benefits of telehealth for this condition. Additional cooperation projects in the U.K., the Netherlands, and the Middle East are currently also in the pipeline. Practical application of the Bosch telehealth system has so far been highly successful. Last January, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs published an analysis of data from over 17,000 patients whose care was coordinated using telehealth systems, particularly the Health Buddy System and ViTelNet's product offerings, from 2004 to 2007. The study showed an average 20 percent reduction in hospital admissions across a wide variety of conditions.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, some 280,000 associates generated sales of 45.1 billion euros in fiscal 2008. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiaries and regional companies in over 60 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Each year, Bosch spends more than 3.5 billion euros, or eight percent of its sales revenue, for research and development, and applies for over 3,000 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as "Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering." The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information can be accessed at www.bosch.com.

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