Bringing eHealth To Europe Via Satellite
Paris (ESA) Dec 17, 2002
Sitting in a doctor's waiting room is not most people's idea of fun, so a recent conference in Bruges, Belgium, on Delivering eHealth across Europe, has good news for Europeans -- visiting a doctor's surgery may become a rare event.
Present at the 3rd Annual Conference of the European Health Telematics Association were representatives of the European Union, the International Telecommunications Union and ESA.
These organisations, together with the World Health Organisation, make up the Telemedicine Alliance, an 18-month European project to examine the use of eHealth: health care that makes use of electronic means of telecommunication such as phones, television, computers and satellites.
Satellites and the European Space Agency may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of improving health, yet there are many ways in which ESA and its programmes contribute to improving health care.
Less time spent in waiting rooms
Many visits to doctors and hospitals are for routine checkups or just to collect a repeat prescription. With eHealth many of these services could be done or requested from home.
Household electronic equipment, such as phones, televisions, remote controls and computers, can be used to take and transmit data such as temperature, blood pressure and sugar level to a central medical centre for examination and checking against existing health records. For instance some mobile phones already have electrodes on the back enabling them to be used as an electrocardiogram. Prescriptions could also be sent electronically to local pharmacists ready for immediate collection.
Imagine the time saved and the queues avoided. Even more important, by cutting down on the number of routine visits and the paperwork that has become the bane of modern medicine, more time, money and resources could be dedicated to helping the seriously ill.
Helping the old and the infirm
eHealth can help this section of society -- and those who care for them -- by enabling patients to transmit health data without having to leave their home. Specialist medical centres, with electronic access to patients' medical records, will then immediately check the data and ensure that all is well.
Patients intimidated by electronic equipment can be personally guided through the different steps by phone or through monitors. This will ensure that the service is 'user friendly' and could offer more frequent contact with patients unable to leave their homes.
Intensive care for those who need it
Medical care wherever you are
ESA and the Telemedicine Alliance
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ISS Astronaut Diagnostics Advances Telemedicine Technology
Paris (ESA) Dec 12, 2002
On Thursday 5 December 2002 an ESA-coordinated demonstration in medical telediagnostics was carried out on board the French hospital ship Sirocco. In a project initiated by ESA in association with the Department of Space Medical Physiology at the University of Tours, the Vision and Robotics Laboratory at Bourges, Sinters Toulouse, and CNES, this was the first real-time demonstration of the use of a teleoperated robotic arm for echographic diagnosis in a remote situation.
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