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A web-based system for asynchronous multimedia messaging between shoulder replacement surgery patients at home and their surgeons was developed and tested. A web browser plug-in simplifies the process of capturing video and transferring it to a web site for novice computer users. The design of the video capture plug-in can be reused to acquire and securely transfer any type of data over the web. For example, readings from home biosensor instruments (e.g., glucometers and spirometers) that can be connected to a personal computer can be transferred to a home telemedicine web site. Both patients and doctors can access this web site to monitor health status longitudinally. Six patients, whose familiarity with computers ranged from no experience to expert users, used the system. All of the subjects were able to use the system to check treatment reminders and to send at least one message with video to their surgeons. The surgeons monitored the system regularly and always responded to messages within 24 h during the six-month trial period.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2002