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Telemedicine and Satellite Communications (satcom)
Telemedicine via satellite for the information society
25 February 2003
To refine telemedicine via satellite development in line with key healthcare priorities, the European Space Agency is organising a telemedicine symposium, ‘Telemedicine via Satellite in the Information Society’, to be held at ESRIN, Frascati, Italy, from 23 to 24 May, 2003.
Telemedicine via Satellite in the Information Society [23rd-24th May 2003]
In a project called TelAny (Telemedicine Anywhere) funded by ESA, trials showed how satellite telecommunications can allow doctors to monitor and treat emergency cases or long term patients remotely.

The project pooled the experience of medical, software and telecommunications professionals to test three different scenarios:

  • the monitoring of patients directly accessing life signals using devices implanted in their bodies
  • treating emergencies on board ships in Norway
  • making a medical database out of data collected that consulting specialists could access
Telemedicine and Satellite Communications (satcom)
Telemedicine means enabling effective, improved transfer of medical information through the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). The diffusion and implementation of telemedicine depends upon the availability, quality and speed of the information transfer.
In order to improve take-up and effectiveness of telemedicine, advanced ICT infrastructures are needed to guarantee access to suitable services in any given location.
Satellite communications, being accessible from virtually any site and quickly adaptable to specific communications needs, has great potential for the development of telemedicine.
From the mid 1990s’, a number of activities have been initiated in Europe by national and international organisations with the purpose of demonstrating and promoting the use of satcom in the field of telemedicine.
Through such projects it has been possible to demonstrate the technical feasibility of several satellite based telemedicine systems, and to raise awareness among potential users.
Use of satellite based ICT for telemedicine is progressing from an exploratory phase towards a more operational profile, in which integration into existing healthcare systems and quick attainment of self-sustainability is essential.
Bringing together ICT specialists and health professionals, this Symposium aims to review the current status of satellite-based telemedicine services and technologies and to converge on common requirements of direct relevance for future telemedicine services via satellite. During the two-day event, guidelines for defining future programmatic actions for the further development and promotion of telemedicine via satellite will also be identified.
Key topics covered:
The following themes of Telemedicine via satellite will be covered during the Symposium, each with a dedicated Working Group:
  • Telemedicine for elderly people
  • Telemedicine for disaster relief and emergency applications
  • Telemedicine for hospitals in remote areas
  • Teleconsulting, second opinion and regulatory aspects
  • Telemedicine, medical education and clinical research
  • Telemedicine technology development in satcom
  • Economical impacts of telemedicine.
A comprehensive Programme for the Symposium will be available end of February 2003.

Related links
ESA TelecommunicationESA Telecom referenceESA Telecom - Telemedicine
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