Videoconferencing teams up experts to help children with cancer

Telemedicine administered via videoconferencing has the potential to help children suffering from cancer, worldwide.

It already is in some places, thanks to programs that orchestrate videoconferencing between experts in varied fields related to pediatric oncology with children in developing countries, who otherwise would not have access to such expertise. Medical News Today recently summed up one such example:

Led by Ibrahim Qaddoumi of the King Hussein Cancer Center in Amman, Jordan, and Eric Bouffet of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, a systematic twinning program was established for children with brain tumors. This twining program included videoconferencing as an essential component, where a 20 videoconference sessions were conducted between the two hospitals between December 2004 and May 2006 to discuss 64 patients, some of them several times. For 23 patients, clinical care recommendations resulting from the conferences differed significantly from the original plan and were mostly followed.

Neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, neuroradiologists. and patients can all meet in cyberspace. That is, if they have access to high speed Internet, required for this type of telemedicine.

Industrialized countries have seen vast improvements in survival rates in pediatric oncology. The developing world - where up to 85 percent of childhood malignant cancers occur - is not seeing similar rates of improvement. The exchange of medical advice and ideas between these areas, via teleconferencing, could literally help save lives.

Unfortunately, for communities without access to high speed Internet--including many here in the United States--this sort of videoconferencing isn't possible.

Pediatric Oncology Has Innovative Tool In Videoconferencing

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