Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Distant doctors make their rounds via satellite

22.05.2003


Satellite telemedicine station
Credits: ESA


ESA telemedicine technology enables specialist physicians to perform detailed patient consultations from hundreds of kilometres away.

High-resolution video images and data signals sent via satellite links have already made ’’teleconsulting’’ a routine procedure in one part of Europe. The Agency’’s involvement with satellite telemedicine began back in 1996, when ESA provided a satellite communication system to link Italian hospitals with a field hospital in Sarajevo in Bosnia, enabling teleconsultations for both civilian and military patients – either live videoconferencing or else ’’offline’’ transmission of multimedia patient data for later diagnosis.

"Accessing the experience of medical specialists located hundreds of miles apart helped to reduce the feeling of professional isolation perceived by medical doctors in the field hospital, in particular when facing problems that were new to them" said Francesco Feliciani of ESA Telecom.



"More than six years later an expanded Euromednet network is still operated on a weekly basis, now mainly assisting teleconsultations in Tirana in Albania and Pec in Kosovo, and the Celio Military Hospital in Italy, and will soon return to Sarajevo as well as Bucharest in Romania."

Since 1996 the Agency has backed more than 20 telemedicine projects and on 23 and 24 May ESA hosts a symposium in Frascati, Italy called ’’Telemedicine via Satellite in the Information Society’’. Workshops will focus on subjects including telemedicine serving hospitals in remote areas and other teleconsulting applications.

One past ESA project, Remote Communities Services Telecentre (RCST), brought teleconsulting to remote parts of Canada. The experience has led to the implementation of the permanent SmartLabrador Project, a hybrid satellite-terrestrial network providing broadband network services to 26 communities in rural Labrador. Today a variety of teleconsulting services are provided through the network, including autism clinics and telepsychiatry.

Isolated mobile sites like aircraft and ferries can also benefit from teleconsulting. As larger planes and boats come to carry more passengers, so the chance of a serious medical emergency occurring on any single trip increases. A project called Marine Interactive Satellite Technologies (MIST) fitted a ’’wireless sickbay’’ to a Canadian superferry. During 2002 some 23 teleconsultations were carried out between the ferry and Port aux Basques hospital, Newfoundland, including four live emergency consultations.

Another ESA telemedicine project called TelAny (Telemedicine Anywhere) was demonstrated last year, linking Norwegian ferries to an onshore hospital. Another element of TelAny involved allowing Italian cardiologists to remotely monitor the health of five heart patients fitted with pacemakers.

Data from implanted sensors was recorded with a reader then downloaded to a PC with a satellite modem, becoming available to the doctor within 30 seconds. Each patient was free to carry on their normal life, only having to visit the hospital if their doctor requested it.

With the proportion of elderly people in Europe due to increase, such remote monitoring of chronic patients might well become a significant element of health care provision across greying suburbs of Europe. Another workshop at the ESA Symposium is centring on telemedicine and the elderly.

"Despite the great potential, telemedicine in general and via satellite in particular is still at a very early phase," said Feliciani. "Due to many aspects involved and the many issues to be sorted out, a multi-disciplinary approach where several actors in the field are able to work together is a necessary condition to move forward. This month’’s symposium is an attempt to facilitate this process."

Dominique Detain | ESA
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/export/esaCP/SEMWL2S1VED_index_0.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Spread of deadly eye cancer halted in cells and animals
13.11.2018 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump

14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal

14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>