When Video Conferencing Moves Medicine Forward
Polycom Video Conferencing at the Heart of the International Otolaryngology Network
Polycom, Inc. recently announced an initiative with the Live International Otolaryngology Network (LION) to deploy a live multipoint video conferencing teaching network, which facilitated the first LION workshop. The workshop, via the video network, linked six hospitals and ten conference rooms across Europe plus an additional two conference facilities in India at Mumbai and Puna. This enabled the viewing of simultaneous live ear surgical procedures and discussions between the operating surgeons and LION delegates, who number over 1,000 surgeons.
LION is an international video conferencing network dedicated to Otolaryngology, which links hospitals for medical events enabling surgeons and other healthcare professionals from all over the world, specializing in ENT, to share their knowledge and view surgical techniques performed in real time by leaders in their respective fields at distant hospitals.
The first LION workshop took place Wednesday May 10, 2006. It was conceived following the great success of a live transmission to a large audience at the British Academic Conference at the ICC in Birmingham in 2003 organized by Robert Vincent, Beziers, France; and John Oates, Queen's Hospital Burton, UK. This provided the impetus for a Pan-European group of clinicians to be set up, led by Dr Robert Vincent, Clinique Causse, and Jacques Magnan, Professor in the ENT department at the CHU Hospital Nord (University Hospital) in Marseilles, to deliver the benefit of this technology to a much wider medical audience. Six live sessions took place with each session consisting of two surgical procedures carried out simultaneously.
The twelve operations were broadcast live throughout the day, using group video conferencing systems from Polycom's flagship VSX(TM) 7000 family linked to the microscope cameras in each operating theater and to remotely located conference rooms. The six European hospitals taking part were located in: Marseilles and Beziers (France), Padua (Italy), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Hanover (Germany) and the UK's Manchester Royal Infirmary.
At the Manchester Royal Infirmary, Professor Richard Ramsden, President of ENT-UK removed an Acoustic Neuroma and performed a Cochlear Implant and at the same time, Thomas Lenarz in Hanover, Germany and Jacques Magnan in Marseilles, France performed similar procedures. John Oates and Shakeel Saeed, Consultant ENT Surgeons chaired and moderated these interactive transmissions from the Manchester Royal Infirmary.
The audience in each conference room viewed the procedures on Polycom VSX 7000's TV-like video quality and CD-like audio quality, allowing them easily to follow the 12 surgical procedures taking place and to ask surgeons questions directly.
"Today, video conferencing is used extensively in the health sector both for teaching and for monitoring patients," said Tony Heyworth, Director of Marketing, EMEA for Polycom. "We are delighted to have been able to work with LION, to enable the best surgeons to share their expertise, and latest surgical advances with a worldwide audience."
Polycom's VSX 7000 group video conferencing systems were connected to LION's ISDN network and linked via a video conferencing gateway. Conference rooms in Bosnia and India were linked to the workshop via the multipoint facility provided by France Telecom.
Other health practitioners were able to view the surgical procedures via a webcast from the website of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
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