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Worldwide emergency telemedicine services: the R&D EU projects perspective

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1 Author(s)
Beltrame, F. ; DIST, Genoa Univ., Italy

In the EU, different types of emergency health care (EHC) systems exist in the various member states. This leads to non-homogeneous emergency medical treatments, limiting the free circulation of citizens. In order to cope with this problem, several projects have been funded by the European Commission, within the 4th Framework Programme, each dealing with a particular aspect of the emergency service. Emergencies over land territories have been studied by the HECTOR project, while within MERMAID, the problem of emergencies on sea vessels has been addressed. The objective of a worldwide emergency telemedicine service (WETS) is to integrate such results in order to come up with a system that is able to give global and useful solutions to the various emergency scenarios. The main goal inside the WETS concept is to provide during an emergency an adequate management of the event in the best possible way (in terms of time promptness and of quality of medical assistance) to the various potential users. This constitutes the focal point of the integration idea: to yield a service to the final user which is not simply the sum of the services as provided now by the already-existing pilots, but which contains a considerable added value in terms of effectiveness (better service) and efficiency (lower cost). Other projects have only given a general framework for a global emergency service; in the WETS concept, the already-existing pilots will be extended to build up a deeply integrated system, both on land and sea. Furthermore, the results of MERMAID, being addressed to isolated communities, will be also extended to the aeronautics environment

Published in:

Information Technology Applications in Biomedicine, 1997. ITAB '97., Proceedings of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Region 8 International Conference

Date of Conference:

7-9 Sep 1997