One hundred case studies of Asia-Pacific telemedicine using a digital video transport system over a research and education network

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Abstract

Although the use of video in telemedicine is most helpful, the transmission of high-quality moving images is difficult in conventional systems due to the limitation of network bandwidth and the quality of service. We have established a new system via the academic broadband network that can preserve the original quality and assure smooth movement of the image. Here we report on 100 case studies and discuss the lessons we have learned. Kyushu University Hospital in Fukuoka, Japan, was linked to 53 medical institutions and meeting venues in 13 countries and regions over the Asia-Pacific Advanced Network, an international research and education consortium. The digital video transport system (DVTS), free software that transforms digital video signals directly into Internet Protocol, was installed on a personal computer (PC) with a network bandwidth of 30 Mbps per channel. Between February 2003 and June 2007, 100 telecommunication sessions were held, 94 of which were international and 6 domestic. Furthermore, 47 involved real-time demonstrations and 53 interactive teleconferences using video or PC presentations. Multiple stations were connected in 37 events, and the number of connected stations in total reached 269. The time delay was restricted to 0.3-1.0 seconds between the stations. Participants provided feedback via questionnaires, and with respect to image quality, 509 (68.3%) participants reported "very good," 206 (27.7%) reported "good," 19 (2.6%) reported "poor," and 11 (1.5%) reported "very poor." DVTS is both economical, with a minimal initial investment, and simple to set up, and this is the first time that this advanced system has been used so widely in the Asia-Pacific region. Because the high-speed academic network for research and education is available worldwide, we believe our cutting-edge technology will facilitate medical standardization beyond geographic borders in the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-117
Number of pages6
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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