Apr 15 2020

Review: Cisco’s DX80 Console Supports Quick and Clear Videoconferencing

The console eases communication for staff in need of quick access to other clinicians.

Most clinicians are trained and highly motivated to serve patients in any circumstance. But they don’t know everything.

So, when a doctor or nurse receives a detailed question — maybe about a potential drug interaction or a specialty topic — they may have to scramble to find an answer in a medical book, online or via a fellow clinician.

Using Cisco’s DX80 videoconferencing kit, that caretaker could instead push one or two buttons on a large LCD touch screen and immediately connect to a colleague.

High-quality video and audio feeds as well as an easy-to-use interface make the DX80 ideal for all types of efficient healthcare interactions.

The unit resembles an all-in-one PC with a generous 23-inch LCD monitor in a 16:9 widescreen ratio. The DX80 has two front feet and a kickstand back to keep the device solidly upright, and it occupies about the same amount of desk space as an advanced office telephone (although it’s quite a bit taller).

Setting up the system is simple. If an administrator has registered the device, it only needs to be plugged in, as the DX80 is self-provisioning. Adding contacts is easy, and each number can be paired with single-button calling.

Get Up Close and Personal

Videoconferencing with the DX80 is a vibrant experience with big advantages in a medical setting. The camera is so precise that users can share documents and charts simply by pointing the lens — which is set on a swivel — at them.

The sound system has several advantages over other conferencing systems. The DX80 boasts four digital microphones mounted on two arrays for full sound capture all around the unit. 

For listening to calls, the DX80 mounts a powerful and accurate front speaker that operates in the 70 hertz to 20 kilohertz range, ideal for hearing output over almost any kind of background noise that could otherwise disrupt a call.

Adding to its muscle, the system’s ­processor and memory are powerful enough to enable HD audio and video conversations both ways at all times. It really is like being in the same room with another person or a group of people.

The DX80 offers highly accurate communications and is extremely easy to use. All of that makes the tool a healthy choice for collaboration in busy healthcare environments where quick, accurate insights are key to good care.

Cisco DX80

How the Cisco DX80 Works with Other Videoconferencing Systems

The Cisco DX80 videoconferencing kit is optimized to work best when communicating with other DX80 devices connected through a Cisco network backbone. But not every hospital will have such a homogeneous environment, and doctors may need to talk with experts outside of their office or even outside their healthcare system.

To work accurately and securely with other conferencing systems, the DX80 uses Cisco Expressway software that optimizes video streams from non-Cisco devices as much as possible. 

The DX80 also can tap into Cisco Webex to let users communicate securely outside an organization. To enable this function, simply invite an external user to conference using a secure Webex instance. A secure meeting room will be created for invited participants.

Using the DX80 this way makes it more of a collaboration and teleconferencing server than just a phone, though all the heavy lifting is being done in the cloud. The DX80 is simply setting up and controlling the experience. 

There are many useful functions when using a DX80 in this way: The software allows for collaboration and the sharing of documents between users, regardless of their location or hardware. Remote users can share their screens and files, even if they’re not using a Cisco device or are simply working from their desktops or laptop computers.

While using a pure Cisco network populated with Cisco devices makes for the best videoconferencing experience, that might not be possible within a massive healthcare system, and certainly not when including colleagues from other organizations. The included software — largely invisible to the user — is necessary to bridge those gaps. 

Once again, when talking with users who may be using videoconferencing tools from other vendors, Cisco has opted to provide the best possible videoconferencing experience for healthcare users with the easiest-to-use interface. 

In healthcare conferencing, the most important thing is that the call goes through. The DX80 videoconferencing kit does absolutely everything possible to ensure that it does.

SPECIFICATIONS

CAMERA: 1920x1080 pixels
PROCESSOR: Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 1.5GHz
MONITOR: 23-inch c­apacitive touch screen LCD
LOCAL STORAGE CAPACITY: 8GB eMMC flash memory
DIMENSIONS: 20.2x22.2x3.5 inches
WEIGHT: 15.65 pounds