Within the Atkosoft company, ITIS-ITAB'99 speaker, Mr. Yiannis Samiotakis, is responsible for the two-year HealthLine project, funded by the European Union. The aim is to create an easily accessible Internet Corner for health care professionals where they are able to find all kinds of information and training material for telemedical applications. The network will equally disseminate results from other European health projects and supply useful links from existing telemedical software, and information provision services. Four different sites are being built in Greece, Ireland, Italy and Sweden to support a similar set of services and to mutually exchange information. For on-line training, HealthLine relies on the know-how of existing projects, such as Nightingale and IT-Eductra. In turn, NIVEMES and RISE, two currently operative telemedicine networks, are strongly related to HealthLine in terms of software support.
The ideal tool to reach health professionals who are involved with telematics and telemedicine networks is Web technology. It is widely used for on-line courses and training. The four independent HealthLine sites provide and share training facilities at three levels. The first two are in English and include basic computer skills, patient record management, computer-aided diagnostic support, as well as telemedicine network specifics. The local site modules, on the other hand, cover local needs. The information services have a wide breadth and consist of articles, discussion groups, directories, and so on. A central database for all the sites is storing summarized data for each of these postings, in order to enable the user to quickly search for the right information.
HealthLine already offers supportive links to medical users, who are active in the NIVEMES and RISE projects. NIVEMES provides expert teleconsultation services to remote, isolated regions and to ship vessels in emergency but also routine situations. The partners are located in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Sweden. RISE deals with telehomecare for the elderly where the health care provider can retrieve or store data in a shared careplan from a central server while visiting patients at home. The project has nodes, residing in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Sweden. The Internet Corner team aims to expand the system with additional linkages from other telemedicine networks and applications to HealthLine.
The Internet Corner thus provides an international common core of services, that are adapted to the language of each participating country. The need for administrators to manage each service, is being stressed by Mr. Samiotakis, as are the requirements to set up national co-ordination centres and install an international HealthLine committee. Security issues and user preferences and profiles have to be addressed to extend the paradigm. Only in this way, HealthLine will promote the use of telemedicine in Europe and generate an equity of information provision and health services, irrespective of the user's location. Read more on the current status of the project at the HealthLine home page or in the VMW article International TeleHealth service network boosts training and information.