Jan 18 2022

Review: Poly RealPresence 500 Video Conferencing Kit Offers Flexible Collaboration

The Poly RealPresence 500 brings healthcare wherever it’s most needed.

The COVID-19 pandemic spurred many healthcare organizations across the U.S. to adopt virtual care strategies where previously none existed. Almost overnight, most healthcare facilities had to become experts in remote doctor visits.

But many rural hospitals and doctor’s offices were already moving in that direction to provide better treatment options for patients in areas where traveling to a central facility can be challenging.

In both cases, healthcare facilities have found pivotal success with the Poly RealPresence Group 500 videoconferencing kit. Designed to provide a professional videoconferencing experience in a small space with minimal technical skills required, the Group 500 kit seems almost tailor-made for healthcare environments.

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Quality Visual and Audio Videoconferencing for Healthcare

The RealPresence system is an all-in-one device that is both small and portable. It could fit comfortably on a clinician’s desk or on the table in a meeting room. It can even support dual screens if facilities want to dedicate a well-equipped conference room to the device.

In healthcare, accuracy is critical, so the RealPresence 500 has a camera that supports wide-angle UXGA (1920x1200 resolution) or fully HD (1920x1080) feeds.

In addition, the device is optimized to work in environments where the available bandwidth is not very fast or possibly unreliable. Reducing the camera to VGA resolution (640x480) lowered the bandwidth considerably while still maintaining reasonably high quality. The only caveat is the video will likely be played in a smaller window on the patient’s screen.

Sound is also captured well using a RealPresence microphone. The 500 offers an array capable of supporting up to four microphones, which would make it a good choice for large conference rooms where people are sitting far from the unit.

Poly RealPresence 500 Video Conferencing Kit

Simple and Secure Videoconferencing Setup

A lot of thought went into the interface for the device so that clinicians don’t have to be IT experts to initiate or maintain a call. It’s not quite one-touch recording, but it’s close, and the included remote control is far less complicated to use than for some modern TVs.

The RealPresence 500 also includes significant security features, which are helpful for maintaining HIPAA compliance and patient confidentiality. Most important, video feeds can be protected with AES 256-bit encryption, which is the current topline standard used by the military and is generally considered to be resistant to hacking, given current technology.

Administrators can also set up password-protected access to management functions and device configuration menus.

Providing timely medical care to patients regardless of their location or ability to travel to a healthcare facility is a critical need made even more urgent by the pandemic. The Poly RealPresence Group 500 videoconferencing kit is an affordable and easy-to-use device that can help to bridge that gap.


Supported Recording Modes: HD, HDTV, SXGA, VGA, WSXGA, WUXGA+ and XGA
Maximum Resolution: 1920x1200
Audio Input: Wired directional microphone
Modem Max Throughput: 6MBps
Data Link: Wired Ethernet, Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet
Dimensions: 11.3x4.8x1.2 inches
Weight: 2.45 pounds


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