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Technological Infrastructure

To make educational material available for everyone through Internet, the following infrastructure described is needed:

Development team

The team involved in the development of WELLPATH is made up of a set of designers, informatics, scientific experts, translators and managers.


WELLPATH is located in a server of the University of Oviedo (http://www10.uniovi.es). It consists of two machines, one for pages and another one for a search engine.

WELLPATH contains a database engine which manages the available material, offers search services and allows maintenance and upgrading of the information. This engine operates remotely and takes into account the privileges of access of the users. This database engine, called RUBY, was developed with the support of the European programme LEONARDO. The RUBY system is an innovative concept in distance education, on one hand allowing the instructors to create lectures in the database via the internet, and on the other students to access on line to this information

The database engine uses Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 and Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASP) for handling the information.

The server operating system is Microsoft NT 4.0, with Service Pack 3.0 and Internet Information Server (IIS).


In the development of WELLPATH pages we have used HTML and JavaScript to give a more dynamic aspect as well as Java for the discussion forums(developed by means of Ms Visual J++ and SFS iavaDraw).

The used HTML generators for a faster web site development are Ms FrontPage and Macromedia Dreamweaver.

Some materials, like the tutorials and courses are developed with the author tool Macromedia Flash 2. This software will provide an additional interactivity to the pages, structuring the information of hierarchical manner, through its own controls of navigation and animation.

In order to see Flash objects in your navigator the corresponding plug-in is needed. This plug-in is available free of charge from Macromedia web site (more information on the pages of WellPath)


The advantages of the shockwave-flash objects for the transference by Internet are their small size and modularity. In addition to their minimum sizes, they are divided into modules in the server, allowing the user to start navigation before the complete tutorial is loaded.


WELLPATH is connected to the ring of the University of Oviedo by an exclusive line of 10 Mbps This ring has a capacity of 150 Mbps, and an exterior exit of 34 Mbps.

The students and teachers of the University of Oviedo can access the materials using the Intranet of the University from whichever computer room of the campus. Using the Intranet means that they don't suffer the occasional lapses of the internet from bottlenecks and excess of traffic, as it would happen accessing from outside the University. The teachers use these contents during class time as backup material.

In addition to this, the University of Oviedo offers to students and professors a very cheap home connection to Internet.


Everyone with a personal computer connected to the Internet will have access to the WELLPATH contents (http://www10.uniovi.es) with the Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer or other compatible browser.

At the moment WellPath aims to Professors and students of Medicine, laboratory technicians and pathology experts in recycling process.

The minimum computer requirements are a 486 with 8 MB of RAM, but for the tutorials and courses a Pentium with 16 MB is recommended. It can be also be accessed from a Macintosh, Linux, Unix and other platforms.

The Shockwave-flash plug-in is needed for some materials. But after the summer of 98, the company Netscape will include this plug-in in the Navigator, so users do not need to download the mentioned plug-in from Macromedia pages.



The WELLPATH development team is working in various types of multimedia products, which will be introduced in the database engine in the near future, meanwhile they are directly available in the pages http://www10.uniovi.es, divided in four different categories, described below.


The tutorials are presentations of concrete themes, developed in accordance with experts in different fields.

These are orientated at providing training support for medical students as well as continuous education in medicine

  • Some of them have been developed using the author tool Flash 2 of Macromedia. For this reason it will be necessary the installation of the plug-in as mentioned in "technical aspects".
  • At present the following titles are available:
  • Reactions of hypersensitivity.
  • Basic Mechanisms of the Gene Expression.
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
  • Chromosome analysis techniques in oncology: karyotyping, FISH and CGH.
  • Cysts and Fibrooseous lesions of maxillae.


Figure 3

Figure 4

As we can see in images 3 and 4, these tutorials have their own controls, which allow the user to navigate through the application, control the sound and animations.

These tutorials can be found in: http://www10.uniovi.es/ruby/entorno/tuto.htm.


  • Used as support for training in Systemic Pathology as well as in lifelong learning in Pathology.
  • Developed with HTML language and JavaScript, which permits clients to access from any type of platform (PC, Macintosh, Unix...).
  • 40 cases of the 2nd European Congress on Pulmonary Pathology (Madrid 7-9 may, 1998) are available.

These seminars are divided into 3 sections, clinic, pathology and comments.

Its address within WELLPATH is http://www10.uniovi.es/ruby/entorno/semi.htm

Clinical Sessions:

  • Oriented to the clinical-pathological correlation and destined for pupils of the second cycle in the degree of Medicine and continuous training in Pathology.
  • Developed by means of HTML and JavaScript, which give total compatibility with all computer platforms.
  • A "Virtual Tutor" is available in each clinical-pathological case, which allows the students formulate questions, which can be answered by experts. Conversations can be openly viewed by the pupils that access the virtual tutor.
  • 17 cases of clinical-pathological correlation are available.
  • To access these: http://www10.uniovi.es/ruby/entorno/sesi.htm

They are divided into 4 sections: Clinical History, Virtual Tutor, Pathological Presentation and Comments.


At present a complete course is available about Gynaecological Cytopathology.

  • This is composed of 7 sessions with more than 300 images and animations.
  • Designed to support the training of laboratory technicians and Pathology specialists.
  • Developed with the author tool Flash 2, from Macromedia (refer to the technical aspects for information about their plug-ins).
  • In the following figures it is possible to see the usual format, including indexes and controls for the navigation, sound, animations and amplification of the images:



  • JavaScript in Navigator 3.0. Netscape Communication Corporation. 1996.
  • Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 Handbook. 1996.
  • Technology options for Distance Education. Multimedia Skills. European Commission. 1995.
  • M. Gisbert et al. Entornos de Formación Presencial Virtual y a Distancia. Boletín de la Red Iris Nš 40, 13-25, 1997
  • M. Grigoriadou, M. Samaraku, and D. Mitropoulos. Expert knowledge, experience and teaching strategies: a networked approach trough the Internet. Proceedings of the 14th International Conference in Technology and Education. Vol 2, 387-389, Oslo 1997.
  • Sampedro et al. Open and Distance Learning in Biopathology on the Internet. Proceedings of the 14th International Conference in Technology and Education. Vol 2, 464-466, Oslo 1997.

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