DownEast Telemedicine Network to serve travel reluctant patients

Hillside 20 August 1998 In the region of Washington County and Bangor in the state of Maine, health care and mental agencies have decided to unite forces and set up a telemedicine initiative which is bound to create a huge impact on the rest of the United States. The three-year project has received a grant of 1,1 million dollar to offer urgently needed health care services to patients who are physically unable or unwilling to travel long distances. The medical sessions will be held by means of a powerful, innovative videoconferencing network. Since the plan has seen the light in the Down East area of Maine, the project is referred to as the DownEast Telemedicine Network or DETNET.

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In the region of Washington County and Bangor in the state of Maine, health care and mental agencies have decided to unite forces and set up a telemedicine initiative which is bound to create a huge impact on the rest of the United States. The three-year project has received a grant of 1,1 million dollar to offer urgently needed health care services to patients who are physically unable or unwilling to travel long distances. The medical sessions will be held by means of a powerful, innovative videoconferencing network. Since the plan has seen the light in the Down East area of Maine, the project is referred to as the DownEast Telemedicine Network or DETNET.

The DETNET service covers a broad variety of medical disciplines, ranging from neonatology over neurology, mental health and substance abuse counselling, psychiatry, dermatology, diabetes to emergency medicine. In the future, additional specialities will be integrated as more installations are introduced in the expanding network. Rural health communities across the United States, which have been medically underserved up till now, will substantially benefit from the specialized medical care to patients in isolated regions.

The leading-edge communication equipment is provided and installed by All Communications Corporation, a specialist in integrated voice, structured cable and videoconferencing solutions. In turn, this company applies the new ViewStation products, which are issued by Polycom, a manufacturer of high quality teleconferencing devices. The ViewStation equipment is both small and easy to use but very performing at the same time. DETNET plans on equally applying the videoconferencing technology for administrative purposes as well as the permanent education and training of health care providers.

DETNET Project Director Doug Kingsbury has selected the ViewStation solution because of its cost-effectiveness whereas the system nevertheless is featuring high-end capacity. From their side, the All Communications Corporation people form ideal partners because they are able to present a scalable network while offering excellent support throughout and after the installation. All in all, the DownEast Telemedicine Network seems to open up promising perspectives for a lot of American citizens who prefer to get medical treatment in their familiar environment instead of having to travel to a far off medical facility.


Leslie Versweyveld

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