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