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Cisco wants to turn TVs into a doctor’s surgery

Employs a device that sits on the TV and connects users to a live video feed in their living room

Cisco is partnering with remote health care company American Well on a project to turn a TV set into a virtual doctor’s surgery.

The project will employ a device that sits on the TV and connect users to a live video feed in their living room.

Initially, the project is being aimed at older Americans and those with serious medical conditions who find it difficult to visit their doctor. It’s one of the first applications to move from the smartphone to the big screen.

“We’re such strong believers in making it easier for people to age in their home if they want to,” said Amy Chang, Cisco’s senior vice president of collaboration technology. “It (the television) is mainstream and it’s easy to use, and we recognise that you run into problems when you push people to change their habits.”

The companies will use existing technology such as facial and audio recognition in order to make the user experience as easy as possible.

Dr. Roy Schoenberg, American Well’s president and CEO, told CNBC that the company has been discussing bringing its service to televisions for several years. But it’s complicated, he said, because the companies needed to wait on advancements and standards to remotely access televisions. “The device needs to have a bag of tricks because it needs to adapt to white balance, microphone, and be usable by patients who are incapacitated or on heavy medications,” he added.