Evaluation of the First International Teleconference in Ophthalmology

Papakostopoulos, D.; Williams, A.; Ramani, V.; Dean Hart, C. J.; Dodson, K.; Papakostopoulos, S.
March 1999
Journal of Telemedicine & Telecare;Mar1999 Supplement 1, Vol. 5, p17
Academic Journal
The First International Teleconference in Ophthalmology was held during March 1998 between five sites in the UK, USA, Greece and Malaysia. ISDNtransmission at 128 kbit s was used to reduce costs while maintaining the clarity of the presented material. Specialized lecture theatres were not available at all sites and conventional halls had to be adapted for videoconferencing. For this reason initial point-to-point testing was carried with Bristol to simplify problem solving. Thereafter, a multipoint bridge was used to connect all sites together. During the conference a number of individual presentations were given, all followed by extensive discussion periods. Special instructions were given beforehand on the production of slide material, with particular reference to fount sizes and colour combinations. Full use was made of various presentation media, including slides, videos and live demonstrations. The conference was attended by over 500 delegates, all of whom were specialists in ophthalmology. The technology employed was ideal for teaching purposes. However, if used in a clinical field, it should be kept in mind that the choice of transmission rate makes certain features not easily apparent in images but they become clearer when pointed out by the presenter.


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