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:: 06 the future of Medicine
Distant doctors make their rounds via satellite
06 the future of Medicine 5/24/2003 8:46:35 AM

23 May 2003
ESA telemedicine technology enables specialist physicians to perform detailed patient consultations from hundreds of kilometres away.


High-resolution video images and data signals sent via satellite links have already made 'teleconsulting' a routine procedure in one part of Europe. The Agency's involvement with satellite telemedicine began back in 1996, when ESA provided a satellite communication system to link Italian hospitals with a field hospital in Sarajevo in Bosnia, enabling teleconsultations for both civilian and military patients either live videoconferencing or else 'offline' transmission of multimedia patient data for later diagnosis.

"Accessing the experience of medical specialists located hundreds of miles apart helped to reduce the feeling of professional isolation perceived by medical doctors in the field hospital, in particular when facing problems that were new to them" said Francesco Feliciani of ESA Telecom.

"More than six years later an expanded Euromednet network is still operated on a weekly basis, now mainly assisting teleconsultations in Tirana in Albania and Pec in Kosovo, and the Celio Military Hospital in Italy, and will soon return to Sarajevo as well as Bucharest in Romania."

Since 1996 the Agency has backed more than 20 telemedicine projects and on 23rd and 24th May ESA hosts a symposium in Frascati, Italy called 'Telemedicine via Satellite in the Information Society'. Workshops will focus on subjects including telemedicine serving hospitals in remote areas and other teleconsulting applications.

One past ESA project, Remote Communities Services Telecentre (RCST), brought teleconsulting to remote parts of Canada. The experience has led to the implementation of the permanent SmartLabrador Project, a hybrid satellite-terrestrial network providing broadband network services to 26 communities in rural Labrador. Today a variety of teleconsulting services are provided through the network, including autism clinics and telepsychiatry.

Full article at:
http://www.esa.int/export/SPECIALS/Telemedicine_Alliance/SEMWL2S1VED_0.html








Please also take a look at the:
Articles, Links, Club of Amsterdam Forum
and the conference about 'the future of Medicine - The Patient Experince' on May 28, 2003



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