The Annual Echo in Context Teleconference surely constitutes the longest-running telemedicine educational event in the world. The fourteenth edition of this live programme dedicated to ultrasound was sponsored both by Duke University Medical Center and Hewlett-Packard Company. Experts in over 140 cities in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas were able to watch the lectures and discussions on "Clinical Impact: New Solutions to the Oldest Echo Problems", this year's selected theme. Over 7500 people were offered a chance to follow the programme, which for the second year already was broadcast to the Asia-Pacific region.
Dr. Joseph Kisslo, who is programme director and professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center, has been leading the various topics. The lectures, that were attended by over 500 doctors, clinicians and specialists, were rebroadcast to seven different locations in Asia. Dynamic live discussions enhanced the programme, actively watched by ultrasound specialists in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and four major cities in China, including Beijing, Guangzhou, Shangai and Shenyang. Hewlett Packard's share in the teleconference consisted in the technical provision of its global telemedicine solution, designed with Global Telemedix, for the transmission of live patient images from echocardiography laboratories.
This way of proceeding makes the television audience more involved with the live event. The echocardiographic images function as a universal language to communicate about heart diseases, according to Dr. Kisslo. Ultrasound has become the most efficient and appropriate tool for cardiac diagnosis today. Dr. Wen-Jin Cherng from the Republic of China, who is president of the local Society of Ultrasound in Medicine as well as chairman of medicine at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan, is convinced that teleconferencing events promote the exchange of ideas and experiences between ultrasound experts. As a result, useful ultrasound applications have a better chance of entering the daily clinical routine.
The Echo in Context Teleconference included presentations, discussions and live patient demonstrations with revolutionary ultrasound pictures of beating human hearts. The material was supplied both by Duke University Medical Center and King's College in London. VTel Corporation provided the 384 Kb teleconferencing equipment in order to combine it with broadcast television. For the first time, a contents site from outside the USA has been integrated into the programme, by using 384 Kb connections with broadcast television from educational imaging delivered by both the United States and the United Kingdom. Ultrasound researchers no doubt have discovered lots of issues for more profound study.