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High-speed Internet allows surgeons all over world to collaborate on procedure

13 Nov, 2008

Telemedicine achieved a significant milestone recently when an endoscopic surgery in Puerto Rico was broadcast live to doctors in several locations throughout the United States.

Internet2 - an advanced networking consortium that brings together the research and education community with technology leaders from industry, government and the international community, made the broadcast possible. This specific experiment was enabled by a team from the Rochester Institute of Technology, which set up a multipoint videoconference that allowed doctors from several locations to interact live with surgeons in Puerto Rico.

The researchers conducting the initial experiment used a 30-megabit-per-second Internet connection to transmit the videoconference to New Orleans, Baltimore, Ann Arbor and Washington D.C.

Gurcharan Khanna, the director of research computing at RIT and a member of the research team that enabled the broadcast explained the possibilities that the technology enables:

"Today, physicians often need to travel to both examine patients and conduct consultations. Given the growing capacity of Internet technologies, the development of live remote consultation with high quality video could revolutionize medicine and greatly enhance the care patients can receive while reducing overall costs to the health care system."

The Internet2 network hopes to be able to expand their capabilities to use in medical education and in actual diagnostic applications.

José Conde, the director of the Center for Information Architecture in Research at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, said:

"Being isolated geographically from major research centers, we need to use information technology to foster research collaborations with scientists around the world."

Telemedicine: Researchers Broadcast Live Surgery Using Internet2 (Science Daily)

About Internet2

Live Endoscopic Broadcast (Rochester Institute of Technology)

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