gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

Peace in Sight: Telemedicine in the service of peace

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author D. Shanit - The Peres Center For Peace, Israel; The Middle East Ophthalmology Network
  • W. Striebel - Basic R&D Department of Siemens Medical Engineering Group, Germany; The Middle East Ophthalmology Network
  • G. Michelson - Department of Ophthalmology, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nurnberg; The Middle East Ophthalmology Network
  • S. Ayed - The Middle East Ophthalmology Network
  • S. Al Assi - The Middle East Ophthalmology Network
  • N. Belfair - The Middle East Ophthalmology Network
  • G. Ben-Simon - The Middle East Ophthalmology Network
  • F. Hamida - The Middle East Ophthalmology Network
  • C. Kanawati - The Middle East Ophthalmology Network
  • T. Lifshitz - The Middle East Ophthalmology Network
  • G. Madia - The Middle East Ophthalmology Network
  • M. Rafi - The Middle East Ophthalmology Network
  • A. Tahat - The Middle East Ophthalmology Network
  • G. Treister - The Middle East Ophthalmology Network
  • K. Tucktuck - The Middle East Ophthalmology Network
  • K. Zaghloul - The Middle East Ophthalmology Network

Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogFR.12.01

Die elektronische Version dieses Artikels ist vollständig und ist verfügbar unter: http://www.egms.de/de/meetings/dog2004/04dog272.shtml

Veröffentlicht: 22. September 2004

© 2004 Shanit et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.de). Er darf vervielf&aauml;ltigt, verbreitet und &oauml;ffentlich zug&aauml;nglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.


Gliederung

Text

Ophthalmology is well suited for telemedicine applications, since optical and imaging devices provide the basis for virtually all ophthalmic patient evaluations, and all of the instruments used to perform a routine comprehensive eye examination can easily be modified to attach video and telecommunications devices for remote transmission. In fact, much of the ophthalmic diagnostic equipment currently in use captures and stores images of ocular structures in digital format, which can be transported readily over existing telecommunication transmission media. In addition, ophthalmologists devote a significant portion of their clinical time to assessing and interpreting clinical findings from diagnostic images. Hence, ophthalmologists are well versed in making diagnoses, prescribing therapy and designing treatment plans on the basis of images of eye pathology.

We initiated The Middle East Ophthalmology Network (MEON) as a cooperation of ophthalmologists working in 10 major ophthalmology centers in Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Palestinian Authority and Tunisia. The project offered some 50 physicians around the Middle East the opportunity to benefit from sharing clinical consultation for diagnosis and management decisions beyond physical and political boundaries. Using an Internet link, access to MEON was simple and direct. Any member of MEON could be consulted simply by choice. Clinical description could be made verbally using voice annotation or through a standardized medical history form incorporating attachments of additional information (images such as fundus picture, angiograms, IOP-profiles, HRT-images, etc.) The selected expert could simply open the message-clip to evaluate the transferred information. He then was able to respond by voice annotation, short typed comment and by graphic drawing. The main benefits of the system were: 1) Minimizing the constraints imposed by uneven geographic distribution of medical resources and expertise. 2) Reduced professional isolation and greater collaboration between physicians to the benefit of all patients and 3) Gaining certain "peace dividends" through the cooperation of physicians across the political divide. The project deployed the "MedStageTM" communication platform, an experimental communication platform that was developed at the Basic Research and Development Department of Siemens Medical Engineering Group.

This initiative and unique application of telemedicine was captured in the accompanying film presentation: "Peace in Sight". Demonstrating the impact of telemedicine through the eyes of the patients, the film portrays a day in the life of four eye patients and their physicians - in four of the participating countries. The process of the introduction of the system and its integration process among the participating ophthalmologists are an important part of this presentation. The film also offers an insight into the complex realities of the region and depicts telemedicine in a unique role as a medium for peace-building, offering the crucial means for improving outcome results in diagnosis and treatment of patients.