VMW Monthly - March 1998 - ISSN 1388-722X


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Contents March 1998 Issue

 
atlantic
 
Telemedicine offers permanent education and practical etiquette for doctors
Three-dimensional eye surgery simulation with haptic feedback
Reimbursement for telemedical consultations approved by American Congress
Enhanced speed and quality of Internet2 offers new telemedicine opportunities
Anatomic VisualiseR © provides students with fascinating Virtual Learning Environment
How to forge criteria for assessment of visual depth perception in Virtual Environments
PRIMEDIA and VHA join efforts for satellite delivered health care education and information
Virtual simulation system SeeImpact analyses and prevents neck injuries
Telemedicine Program supports psychiatric care in Georgia
Primary health care in American Vet Centres goes telemedicine
Early telemedical intervention gets the best out of the less fortuned child
 
hospital
 
Health care ATM network introduces telemedicine in the Middle East
Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery safer than open-chest procedures
Does teleradiology produce 'filmless' hospitals?
Digital telecardiology system saves precious time in patient treatment
Dodge County Hospital: chronicle of a telemedicine pilot site
 
industrial
 
Voice-controlled surgical robot ready to assist in minimally invasive heart surgery procedures
 
planet
 
Front-line Telemedicine and Virtual Reality in combat
NIVEMES Telemedicine network puts focus on sailors and islanders
Hewlett-Packard named medical systems supplier at the soccer World Cup 98
 
snap
 
Southern Sweden integrates telemedicine as part of daily hospital life
Live telemedical demonstration at Scandinavian Network Expo 98
Telemedicine system tested by astronauts in space
ITIS'98 - The final countdown has been started ...
The UK National Health Service revisits general IT strategy
Web technology makes Swedish hopital network run smoothly
 

Leads March 1998 Issue

 
atlantic
 
Telemedicine offers permanent education and practical etiquette for doctors
Full Article As the Georgia Statewide Telemedicine Programme is being established, a growing need occurs amongst physicians to take away their uncertainties about treating real patients via the system. The Telemedicine Centre of the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) has developed a specific training course in order to give doctors a chance to examine "mock" patients via telemedicine and to learn typical telemedicine etiquette. For this mission, "patients" are being prepared to participate in the new Standardised Patient Programme that is funded by 1 million dollars made available through The Distance Learning and Telemedicine Act of 1992.
Three-dimensional eye surgery simulation with haptic feedback
Full Article Three commercial hardware developers and the Centre for Human Simulation at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have united their forces to create a simulation tool allowing both doctors and students to practice delicate surgical procedures on a virtual human eyeball without having to cut any tissue. The Medicine Meets Virtual Reality Conference held at the end of January in San Diego, formed an ideal occasion to give a fascinating demonstration of this unique combination of technologies.
Reimbursement for telemedical consultations approved by American Congress
Full Article Recently, the American Congress agreed to a slightly amended version of the proposal introduced by Senator Kent Conrad on the telemedicine reimbursement for rural Health Personnel Shortage Areas (HPSAs). For the first time, the USA government has approved reimbursement of federal funds for regular, on-going medical consultations. Experts predict that the new legislation will yield 100 to 200 million dollar per year for telemedical health care delivery, starting from January 1st, 1999.
Enhanced speed and quality of Internet2 offers new telemedicine opportunities
Full Article In the autumn of 1996, thirty four American universities set up an ad hoc project, called Internet2. Their mission was to provide the desktop PC user with ever growing faster access to data. By October 1997, one hundred sixteen universities and various information technology companies in the States were participating to develop applications that would benefit from the enormous increases in speed and bandwidth being created in a federally funded networking effort similar to the early days of the Internet. At present, the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development constitutes the global organisation for the commercialisation of Internet2 technology. The next generation of the Internet will undoubtedly exercise a profound influence on the future implementations of the telemedicine concept.
Anatomic VisualiseR © provides students with fascinating Virtual Learning Environment
Full Article At the Learning Resources Centre (LRC) of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, Professor Helene Hoffman and her colleagues are studying since 1995 the possibilities to implement Virtual Reality (VR) based simulation in the teaching and learning of human anatomy. This strategy has resulted in the prototype development of a flexible and extensible object oriented 3-D software architecture, called VisualiseR ©. The educational application integrates 3-D anatomic models with supporting 2-D media such as diagnostic images, surgical videos and literature searches, as to create a VR-Multimedia Synthesis (VR-MMS) Environment. In the future, the Anatomic VisualiseR © will help medical students to establish a context for their acquired knowledge, skills and reasoning.
How to forge criteria for assessment of visual depth perception in Virtual Environments
Full Article On the last conference day of Medicine Meets Virtual Reality:6, which took place in San Diego at the end of January, Dr. Helene Hoffman, professor at the University of California (UCSD) School of Medicine, presented a well-defined concept for a behaviourally based method to obtain precise information on the impact of Virtual Environment (VE) design choices on perception and performance of perceptual-motor tasks. This experiment fits into a series of studies to elucidate the relative merits of VR-based teaching systems such as the Anatomic VisualiseR © prototype and the role of interface design on educational outcomes. Before the VisualiseR © will be implemented within UCSD's preclinical anatomy curriculum, the exact cost-benefit relation of the application should be determined.
PRIMEDIA and VHA join efforts for satellite delivered health care education and information
Full Article VHA unites more than 1600 leading community-owned health care organisations in the States in a nationwide network. To optimally serve its members, the company has closed a four-year deal with PRIMEDIA Workplace Learning in order to supply continuing education and training programs as well as relevant and up-to-date news directly to the participating medical facilities via satellite. This partner has been specialising in the production of flexible, customised distance learning solutions to professionals in a large variety of markets. The health care domain is one of the central areas in their policy. In this regard, VHA and PRIMEDIA share a common mission.
Virtual simulation system SeeImpact analyses and prevents neck injuries
Full Article The Medical Simulation Group at the Institute of Systems Science in Singapore has set up a project in cooperation with the Defence Medical Research Institute to develop a biomechanical model-based simulation system which is capable of recreating the environment in order to analyse neck injuries under various circumstances. The virtual reality system, called SeeImpact, comprises a model of the human head and cervical spine including the possibility to generate bone stresses and muscular forces. The research team wants the computer program to serve both as analytical and predictive tool for the end user. Extension and modification of the simulation model for related applications are being envisaged.
Telemedicine Program supports psychiatric care in Georgia
Full Article The state of Georgia is reorganising its inadequate and poorly distributed mental-health services into nineteen different regions. Parallel to this initiative, the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) involves its Telemedicine Centre in an operation that will render psychiatric care and continuing education more readily available to the mental-health care professionals and the public. This program is funded by a 1,5 million dollar National Patterns of Academic Excellence grant from the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. The education process also includes the establishment of a learning centre on the MCG campus where psychiatrists will be trained on how to use telemedicine.
Primary health care in American Vet Centres goes telemedicine
Full Article In the USA, combat or traumatised veterans can get medical counsel through a network of so called Vet Centres which is organised nationwide by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). At present, the tremendous advances in telecommunications technology are being used to expand the primary health care programs within these centres. Twenty locations benefit from a three million dollars provision in equipment and startup operating costs related to telemedicine. Ten Vet Centres receive another one million dollars to enhance their conventional medical services.
Early telemedical intervention gets the best out of the less fortuned child
Full Article The Telemedicine Centre of the Medical College of Georgia has set up an Early Intervention Programme called Satilla. The general idea is to gather health care specialists around children who are born tiny and prematurely, who are suffering from the Down's Syndrome or from cerebral palsy or who are exposed to high risk factors such as an alcoholic mother. The development of the child's condition is being followed at regular times by a telemedicine consult involving the whole team of specialists. The programme avoids the need for long distance travel to visit one care taker after another in a short time. In this way, the child doesn't get upset or restless since it can be examined in the familiar environment of the local health care department.
 
hospital
 
Health care ATM network introduces telemedicine in the Middle East
Full Article The Hamad Hospital in Dubai has signed an agreement with both the Omnix Qatar Company and Fore Systems in order to organise the installation of a health care network based on Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) technology. This network will enable the hospital to take up a pioneering role in providing innovative telemedicine solutions throughout the whole of the region for many years to come.
Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery safer than open-chest procedures
Full Article Surgeons from seven major medical centres in the USA have prepared a study on analysed data from more than thousand patients at 121 medical centres to prove that the port-access minimally invasive approach is safer and shows an equally low incidence of complications than standard open-chest procedures for both coronary bypass and mitral valve surgery. This first report issued from the Port-Access International Registry (PAIR) supports the surgeons' earlier prediction that minimally invasive heart surgery would become the standard method of dealing with bypass and valve interventions.
Does teleradiology produce 'filmless' hospitals?
Full Article The recent development of teleradiology has met an increasing success amongst medical experts. Still, there are important administrative difficulties to overcome which makes it very unlikely that we will be able to talk of 'filmless' hospitals in the near future. A supplementary issue constitutes the present lack of international standardisation with regard to image file formats. A lot of mutual deliberation has to be done before we can benefit to the full from the revolutionary advantages teleradiology potentially has to offer. In the recent issue of the Journal edited by the European Health Telematics Observatory, the French Drs. Vincent Hazebroucq, Christine Hoeffel and Professor AndrÈ Bonnin, are explaining their views.
Digital telecardiology system saves precious time in patient treatment
Full Article Let the 'filmless' hospital still seem an ideal utopia, within the specific field of catheterisation procedures, medical experts are making a growing use of digital angiography instead of cinefilm. In the Netherlands, an interesting telecardiology project has been set up in which referring hospitals execute catheterisation interventions and in due case present the patient's data to cardiologists and cardiac surgeons of the university hospital in order to decide on further treatment such as for instance coronary artery bypass grafting. Digital image transfer of the catheterisation between the two hospitals involved allows time sparing and more effective service towards the patient.
Dodge County Hospital: chronicle of a telemedicine pilot site
Full Article In November 1991, Dodge County Hospital, situated in the rural town of Eastman, Georgia, became the pilot site for an interactive patient examination system which was developed to eliminate distance in the provision of health care. Since then, the network has enabled hospital staff to offer definitive care to about 85 percent of patients with more complex problems without them having to leave their own familiar doctor or community hospital. Georgia's pioneering telemedicine program resides under the responsibilities of the Medical College of Georgia Telemedicine Centre in Augusta.
 
industrial
 
Voice-controlled surgical robot ready to assist in minimally invasive heart surgery procedures
Full Article The Automated Endoscopic System for Optimal Positioning (AESOP) is a mouthful of explanation to designate a surgeon-controlled robotic arm capable of manoeuvring and positioning an endoscope in minimally heart surgery procedures. The device has been developed by Computer Motion Inc., a company based in Santa Barbara, and recently has been cleared by the American Food and Drug Administration. At the 34th Annual Meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the voice-controlled AESOP® 3000 surgical robot was launched with the proud and enthusiastic ambition to try and overcome present human limitations in surgery by means of advanced technology.
 
planet
 
Front-line Telemedicine and Virtual Reality in combat
Full Article The operating conditions for doctors in extreme combat situations can in no way be compared to those of their hospital colleagues. Virtual Reality techniques as well as telemedical implementations seem to include promising training perspectives for general practitioners allowing them to learn how to function efficiently in a hostile environment and how to face up to stressing and precarious work circumstances. Dr. Jean-Paul Papin offered a glance at the characteristics of front-line medicine missions in France and the training means for unit doctors at the International Symposium on Telemedicine in Brussels, last October. He even illustrated his speech with a concrete example of virtual reality applied to the learning of elementary resuscitation gestures in an aggressive environment.
NIVEMES Telemedicine network puts focus on sailors and islanders
Full Article Within the Telematics Applications Programme, the European Commission in June 1995 approved a funding of 3.000.000 ECUs in favour of the NIVEMES project, which stands for Network of Integrated Vertical Medical Services Targeting Ship Vessels and Remote Populations. This three years' project started out in January 1996 to develop an international network of telemedicine health care providers and telemedicine services, offered to individuals or groups in remote locations or emergency situations such as sailors and islanders. Prime contractor, the Greek technology provider ATKOSoft SA, is working together in a consortium with hospital partners from Sweden, Ireland, Portugal and Greece.
Hewlett-Packard named medical systems supplier at the soccer World Cup 98
Full Article Starting from June 10th 1998, the XVI soccer World Cup is being played in France where 64 matches are scheduled in ten cities. The medical support for such a big sports event constitutes a challenging job for the French Organising Committee. Emergency care has to be readily available in each of the ten World Cup venues. In every participating stadium, four emergency rooms staffed by highly skilled physicians, will be installed to stand by in case of serious injury or illness. On top of this, Hewlett-Packard (HP) Company's Medical Products Group has been assigned as official patient-monitoring and defibrillator supplier to the tournament.
 
snap
 
Southern Sweden integrates telemedicine as part of daily hospital life
Full Article Between the hospitals of Southern Sweden, the transmission of digital x-ray images and the use of video conferencing are steadily being transformed into a daily routine, according to Telecom Idag. A majority of the Swedish county councils already reserve a part of their budget for investments in telemedicine technology.
Live telemedical demonstration at Scandinavian Network Expo 98
Full Article Gˆteborgs Posten reported on a real life telemedicine event at the Scandinavian Network Expo 98 which took place in Gothenburg. A dermatologist examined a patient, who found himself in BorÂs, at fifty kilometres distance from Gothenburg. The connection between doctor and patient was provided through an Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) link.
Telemedicine system tested by astronauts in space
Full Article Aboard the space shuttle Endeavour, the Telemedicine Instrumentation Pack (TIP), developed by the KRUG International Corporation, has been successfully tested by two astronauts, especially trained to use the system. As a result, the TIP will be applied on earth to examine patients in remote areas around the world.
ITIS'98 - The final countdown has been started ...
Full Article An impressive list of expert speakers and a well-filled but nicely balanced programme. What more do you want to turn the First International Conference on the Telemedical Information Society into a success? As the starting date of ITIS'98 is drawing nearer, Virtual Medical Worlds Magazine is happy to present to you from this very moment on, the final conference programme. We assure you it would be a real pity to miss this unique and future-heading event. So if you didn't register yet, what are you waiting for to fill in your form and come to Amsterdam?
The UK National Health Service revisits general IT strategy
Full Article Current developments in Information Technology offer the possibility to store medical information on electronic patient records (EPR) and smartcards. The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom however hesitates to adopt these new solutions because several complicated issues need to be dealt with first. The NHS embarks on a radically new IT strategy in which the balance between accurate information on the state of people's health and data confidentiality gets primordial attention.
Web technology makes Swedish hopital network run smoothly
Full Article The county council of Skane has decided to install the largest telemedical system in Sweden. Physicians from different hospitals all over the region will use the network to organise virtual meetings and to discuss patient cases with each other at long distance.
 

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