January 1st 1999 will be the official starting date for the Virtual Medical Worlds Community (VMWC) initiative. The major objective of this newly founded working group is to create a dynamic synergy between users operating in the telemedical sector and technology suppliers to advance the European industry in both areas. VMWC will try to stimulate exchange of information and expertise to generate awareness in the medical sector via the organization of workshops, technical meetings, participation in major telemedical events, and a virtual community environment on the Internet for active brainstorming and discussion among the members.
The VMW Community constitutes an ideal platform for people, institutions and companies, promoting the use of advanced technologies for telemedical applications, such as Internet facilities, information technology, high performance computing and networking (HPCN), high quality medical imaging, database management, and Virtual Reality (VR) techniques. VMWC members are situated in European academic groups, active in HPCN, VR, databases, and telemedicine, as well as in companies with major business in telemedicine and high tech medical applications. The ultimate goal consists in reconciling the worlds of IT and medicine for the establishment of a good functioning telemedical information society.
The prime activities of VMWC in the first year will be focused on information exchange, participation in the ITIS'99 mini-conference, and publishing on the Web of refereed papers in The Journal of International Telemedical Information Society (ITIS) Letters. The VMWC Web site constitutes the central meeting point of the working group and offers a rich source of information tools. The Virtual Medical Worlds Magazine forms the premier European news source on telemedicine and related technologies and has entered its second year of monthly digest with an interesting archive of back issues and a well furnished calendar. This publication is equally available through e-mail.
The VMW Forum discussion list is a members only mailing/discussion list for active use with regard to specific information requests and hot items of discussion. The company and institution Profiles Pages present an overview of relevant workers in the IT and telemedical field. The pages are intended for the profiles of both VMWC members and paying advertisers but are freely accessible for all visitors of the VMWC Web site. The resource links section and white paper archive will contain background information. The latter will be exclusively reserved to the VMWC members. The second edition of the ITIS mini-conference, held on April 12-13, 1999 in Amsterdam, will include scientific papers, demonstrations, forums and future vision papers.
Company managers who decide to join the VMW Community will benefit from the listing of their company on the Profiles Pages and will obtain active links to their company site in the VMW magazine articles. In addition, the company's activities will be presented to potential customers in an attractive advertisement on the VMW magazine home page, once a year. Research and academic institutions will receive free publication of up to ten articles per year in The Journal of International Telemedical Information Society (ITIS) Letters.
Here are the VMWC membership fees for 1999:
- hospitals: 500 Ecu
- small companies (SMEs): 500 Ecu
- research institutes and universities: 750 Ecu
- large companies: 1500 Ecu