JOURNAL ARTICLE

Network design for telemedicine—e-health using satellite technology

Georgi Graschew, Theo A Roelofs, Stefan Rakowsky, Peter M Schlag
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics 2008, 131: 67-82
18305324
Over the last decade various international Information and Communications Technology networks have been created for a global access to high-level medical care. OP 2000 has designed and validated the high-end interactive video communication system WinVicos especially for telemedical applications, training of the physician in a distributed environment, teleconsultation and second opinion. WinVicos is operated on a workstation (WoTeSa) using standard hardware components and offers a superior image quality at a moderate transmission bandwidth of up to 2 Mbps. WoTeSa / WinVicos have been applied for IP-based communication in different satellite-based telemedical networks. In the DELTASS-project a disaster scenario was analysed and an appropriate telecommunication system for effective rescue measures for the victims was set up and evaluated. In the MEDASHIP project an integrated system for telemedical services (teleconsultation, teleelectro-cardiography, telesonography) on board of cruise ships and ferries has been set up. EMISPHER offers an equal access for most of the countries of the Euro-Mediterranean area to on-line services for health care in the required quality of service. E-learning applications, real-time telemedicine and shared management of medical assistance have been realized. The innovative developments in ICT with the aim of realizing a ubiquitous access to medical resources for everyone at any time and anywhere (u-Health) bear the risk of creating and amplifying a digital divide in the world. Therefore we have analyzed how the objective needs of the heterogeneous partners can be joined with the result that there is a need for real integration of the various platforms and services. A virtual combination of applications serves as the basic idea for the Virtual Hospital. The development of virtual hospitals and digital medicine helps to bridge the digital divide between different regions of the world and enables equal access to high-level medical care. Pre-operative planning, intra-operative navigation and minimally-invasive surgery require a digital and virtual environment supporting the perception of the physician. As data and computing resources in a virtual hospital are distributed over many sites the concept of the Grid should be integrated with other communication networks and platforms.

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