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GÉANT and TEMDEC – using advanced telemedicine systems to enable surgical training across multiple countries

Successful demonstration links hospitals in three countries to share best practice in endoscopic surgery

Since it began, surgical training has relied heavily on observing operations in order to ensure that surgeons are up to date with the latest techniques and procedures. But with the growth in specialist surgical skills, with experts located in specific hospitals across Europe, physically attending training can be difficult or impossible. This reduces the ability to share and spread best practice, meaning that patients miss out on potentially life-saving new procedures.

Intensive computing power
Telemedicine, using high speed networks such as GÉANT and intensive computing power to link hospitals and surgeons together, provides the infrastructure for greater collaboration and sharing of information across the medical field, and surgical training is one area that is now seeing major benefits.

Previously telemedicine has been held back by poor image quality and a need for expensive equipment. The TEMDEC project, part of the Medical School of Kyushu University in Japan, successfully overcomes these issues by using research and education networks to transmit high quality images at speeds of 30 Mbps using Digital Video Transport System (DVTS) equipment that can be run from a standard PC.  

As well as great success across Asia-Pacific the technology behind TEMDEC has also been successfully demonstrated across Europe, linking hospitals in Norway, Italy and Spain together in order to transmit video of endoscopic surgery 

The Challenge
Surgical training has traditionally been based on observing operations. However as surgical skills become more specialised this type of training has become more difficult as experts are located across multiple countries. 

The Solution
The TEMDEC telemedicine project is enabling remote training of surgeons by linking hospitals through research networks such as GÉANT, allowing the sharing of high quality specialist video training across Europe.

Key Benefits
TEMDEC revolutionises how surgical training is carried out, as clinicians are able to observe new procedures and techniques through video conferencing. This quickly spreads best practice across the entire surgical community, helping surgeons learn new skills and ultimately benefiting patients.

Partners in the TEMDEC project: 
TEMDEC http://www.aqua.med.kyushu-u.ac.jp