Presentation of the Telemedical Information Society in FGCS

Amsterdam 21 July 1998 The scientific journal Future Generation Computer Systems , referred to as FGCS, has dedicated a special double issue to the subject of "The Telemedical Information Society". Guest editor and Euromed project manager, Dr. Andy Marsh, has selected a range of authors from all over Europe and the USA to offer a view on their research with relation to the technical implications of building a 21st century technological health care infrastructure. Eleven contributions shed a light on what telemedicine might look like in virtual reality as well as Web-based environments.

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The scientific journal Future Generation Computer Systems , referred to as FGCS, has dedicated a special double issue to the subject of "The Telemedical Information Society". Guest editor and Euromed project manager, Dr. Andy Marsh, has selected a range of authors from all over Europe and the USA to offer a view on their research with relation to the technical implications of building a 21st century technological health care infrastructure. Eleven contributions shed a light on what telemedicine might look like in virtual reality as well as Web-based environments.

In the introduction, Dr. Marsh presents the World Wide Web (WWW) as the central platform for worldwide interconnectivity in the future telemedical information society. Within the three year Euromed project, twenty building blocks have been defined to develop a logical framework for the Web-based implementation of telemedicine on a global scale. In addition, the concept of "Virtual Medical Worlds" has been launched to integrate multimedia medical data in a navigational system for remote access and which is based on HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), VRML (Virtual Reality Modelling Language) and Java language.

The papers, featuring in the telemedical FGCS issue, all focus on different aspects of the foundational building blocks, which are described in detail in the guest editor's introductory paper. Six of the Euromed partners treat specific subjects, relating to data storage by means of lossless coding, data security based on trusted third party services (TTPS), 3D visualization using VRML, and particular applications, such as tele-electro-encephalography (Tele-EEG), the imaging of human electric potentials, and the simulation of tumour growth.

Two articles sent in by research teams from the USA, respectively deal with medical and biological applications of virtual reality technology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and with the set-up of a metacomputing environment for telemedicine at Argonne National Laboratory. A third paper describes the work at the University of Illinois to develop an innovative educational method using virtual reality to teach the complex anatomy of the middle and inner ear. How the Virtual Medical Worlds Magazine fits into the structure of the twenty Euromed building blocks as an Internet-based publishing tool for the dissemination of telemedicine, is explained in the last paper.

The FGCS telemedicine special offers a varied and illustrated view on the current status of medical information management, and provides a bold glimpse into the future. The issue appeared with the following coordinates:

  • Future Generation Computer Systems
    The Telemedical Information Society
    Guest Editor: A. Marsh
    Published by Elsevier - Amsterdam/Lausanne/New York/Oxford/Shannon/ Tokyo
    Volume 14, June 1998, Numbers 1-2
    ISSN 0167-739X - 142 p.


Leslie Versweyveld

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