Telemedicine: Possible expansion to ASREN countries

Live Demonstration of Endoscopy
Shuji Shimizu, MD, PhD, Telemedicine Development Center of Asia, Kyushu University Hospital, Japan
Network without applications means nothing, and there are many academic programs working on research and education network. Telemedicine should be one of the most attractive and important fields.
However, telemedicine requires special technology in terms of high-resolution images for precise diagnosis and smooth movement of transmitted contents such as surgery. It had not been satisfactory until 2002, when we first developed a new system between Japan and Korea, which could preserve the original quality without purchasing any costly special videoconferencing equipment. Telemedicine changed from experimental level to a practical and clinically suitable tool. It was an epoch-making event in telemedicine both in quality and cost, satisfying healthcare providers in Asia where there are many developing countries. It soon expanded around the world, and now we are collaborating with 763 medical institutions in 70 countries with 1140 programs in variety of subspecialties.
There have been few chances for us in Japan and Asia-Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) Medical Working Group to work with medical colleges and hospitals in Middle East and African countries. We do hope to start collaborations and create useful and educational telemedicine programs with ASREN countries to provide higher medical standards to the people in the region.