Experience with Use of Telemedicine to Extend Medical Education

Greeting for Internet World Congress '98, Experience with Use of Telemedicine to Extend Medical Education

Guo, Fei-Ran

Dear Colleagues:

As the Chair of the Invited Symposium, Experience with Use of
Telemedicine to Extend Medical Education, Internet World Congress '98, I would like to express my hearted gratitude for your attendance and contribution to this symposium.

I am glad to find that the presentations in this symposium cover a
variety of interesting topics in telemedicine, specific to educational
aspects of this new technology. The full papers are available on the URL www.mcmaster.ca/inabis98/guo/index.html . Posting and responding are welcome and encouraged through the discussion board. I also would like to invite you to attend other sessions of the conference. www.mcmaster.ca/inabis98 . For a quick look at the  symposium, I would like to give the briefs of presentations.

Many thanks to Dr. Michael G. Kienzle's presentation concerning the
experience of extending electronic library services to rural hospitals in Iowa. The results showed 1,339 health and allied health professionals from the ten networked hospitals registered to use the services. A electronic document delivery system named Ariel provided 4,150 document transmissions during the study period. Most of the users showed high level of satisfaction (above 4 in 1 to 6 scale).

The presentation of Dr. Tzeng-Ji Chen showed a new way to improve the quality of "common lecture notes" which are popular in the medical schools in Taiwan. Because the medical student's generally have difficulty for reading English-based teaching material, it is helpful to have those Chinese ones. Dr. Chen shared his experience of digitizing and updating these notes, publishing through friendly web interface.

"Multi-Center Palliative Case Conferences: A Model Integrating
Video-Conferencing and the Web" is my presentation to share the experience of using ISDN desktop video-conferencing system and the web to host multi-point, academic conferences. We tried to overcome the economical and technological barriers of video-conferencing and made multi-point conferences affordable for most of the hospitals in Taiwan. The results showed that 87.1% of attendants felt the gains from the video conferencing were similar to face-to-face meetings and 98.3% would like to attend the meeting again.

Dr. Po-Huang Chiang presented a national wide project providing digital library services in Taiwan. The National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) offered free access to Medline, Evidence Based Medicine Reviews, ?4 kinds of online full text Journal and other databases for health care providers and researchers. NHRI also developed different projects to create local database such as "Taiwan Collections", a full-text database of medical journals in Taiwan. There were 3,500 applicants receiving HINT account, 1.5 millions total hits and about 8 thousand unique site visits in September,

John H. Parker provided a high quality web resource of asthma, The GINA Learning Program (GLP). This project recognized the important factors of web learning, including people, technology, content, and learning strategies. The program addresses four topics identified as requisite asthma learning : measures of assessment and monitoring, control of contributing factors, pharmacological factors and education for a partnership in asthma care. The integration of texts, pictures, audio, animations and video enable health care providers update their knowledge and skill without difficulty. I really anticipate to witness the outcome in September 1999.

The last presentation offered by Porres, L. A. described the development of Geographical Information System (GIS) as an assessment and evaluation tool. Because of the plenty of information and the ability of visualizing complex data, GIS is getting its place in the fields of public health. The author offered examples such as malaria transmission dynamics study in India, groundwater pollution in Italy and air pollution of SO2 in Poland. Important resources of getting GIS information, including the web, were also introduced in the presentation.

In addition to introducing the symposium, I would like to provide a topic for discussion. I notice that there were two papers describing digital library services, Dr. Kienzle's and Dr. Chiang's. Both were supported by National institutions, but the strategies were quit different. The experience in Iowa started with the facilitation of end-users' accessibility, however the HINT in Taiwan started with top-down database resources. Is it a short back of Taiwan's policy that the end-users of HINT were limited to the persons who were already familiar to internet resources, or it is a benefit to encourage people to start using Internet ?

I hope you will enjoy your attending of the symposium and find something valuable. Many thanks to all the presenters again.

Sincerely yours

Guo, Fei-Ran MD.
Home Page med.mc.ntu.edu.tw/~fjguo
E-Mail: fjguo@ha.mc.ntu.edu.tw

Department of Medical Informatics
National Taiwan University College of Medicine
TEL: 886-2-2397-0800 ext. 8721 or 8772  FAX: 886-2-2393-3031

Department of Family Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital
TEL: 886-2-2397-0800 ext. 2147 or 6832  FAX: 886-2-2311-8674

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