Malina Jordanova, Space Research & Technology Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria
Frank Lievens, Board Member, Secretary and Treasurer of International Society for Telemedicine & eHealth (ISfTeH), Switzerland & Director, Med-e-Tel, Belgium, firstname.lastname@example.org
The presentation is focusing on Med-e-Tel (The International Educational and Networking Forum for eHealth, Telemedicine and Health ICT (Med-e-Tel, www.medetel.eu) as a Unique Education Tool for Success.
The name Med-e-Tel summarizes what the event is about, i.e.:
• The "Med" in Med-e-Tel stands for healthcare services (institutional and home based care, prevention and education) and for medical products and equipment (medical imaging equipment, monitoring devices, electronic health records, etc.).
• The "e" stands for the electronic and IT industry and services (hard- & software, internet, e-mail, etc.), while
• The "Tel" stands for telecommunications (whether it is POTS, mobile, satellite, videoconferencing, VoIP, or other).
The event has started out in 2002 under the name "Telemedicine & Telecare International Trade Fair" and gradually grew out to become the most international Telemedicine and eHealth networking event around the world. Within 10 years the number of attending countries has increased almost 2,5 times, while the number of presentation grew 6 times.
Med-e-Tel is a highly specialized event that brings suppliers of specific equipment and service providers together with buyers, healthcare professionals, decision makers and policy makers from many countries around the globe and provides them with hands-on experience and knowledge about currently available products, technologies and applications. This is the forum where state-of-the-art products, ideas, projects, etc. are presented and discussed. Year after year Med-e-Tel is becoming a nesting place for new co-operations and partnerships between scientific groups and institutions, small, medium and large size enterprises, from all over the world. It facilitates worldwide eHealth implementation via networking, education, business.
In addition to the business-to-business aspect Med-e-Tel is also focused on an extensive educational program. The program is organized around plenary and parallel sessions, workshops and satellite symposia, project meetings. Combining over 250 oral and poster presentations the program presents current applications and best practice examples in the field of Telemedicine/eHealth and provides a glimpse of future trends in the field. Attendees are learning from the experience built up by experts from around the world; discuss their effects on the healthcare system as a whole and are update on new developments allowing more effective and efficient use of technologies to improve quality of health, medical and social care.
Specific aspects of Med-e-Tel educational program are the sessions dedicated to nurses and students.
Med-e-Tel provides the right resources to help today's busy physicians meet their professional needs providing them an opportunity to receive Continuous Medical Education (CME) credits.
Another educational activity that is worth mentioning is the Global eHealth Strategies Symposium. It aims to provide an intercultural and multidisciplinary framework in order to promote policy dialogue on how eHealth can address health issues and challenges in developing countries, as well as analyze transferability of evidence, identify barriers and determine factors for a useful deployment of eHealth. The European Commission (DG Information Society and Media) is a partner of the Global eHealth Strategies symposium.
Med-e-Tel is publishing Electronic proceedings since 2006 and the series “Global Telemedicine/eHealth Updates: Knowledge Resources” since 2008. Both publications present a collective experience of experts from different continents all over the world. Papers reveal various national and cultural points of view on how to develop and implement Telemedicine/eHealth solutions for the treatment of patients and wellbeing of citizens. Publications from 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 can be downloaded from http://www.medetel.eu/index.php?rub=proceedings&page=info for free. Hard copies can also still be purchased. Proceedings from 2010 till 2012 are currently only available for purchase from the website.
One of the most important educational initiatives of Med-e-Tel is the creation of the Knowledge Resource section (http://www.medetel.eu/index.php?rub=knowledge_resources&page=info). This is a database, available for free, that provides copies of all abstracts and presentations that have been made at Med-e-Tel throughout the past years (2002-2012). It is a comprehensive listing providing an overview of Telemedicine and eHealth research, technology, practical experiences and information from around the world, which is updated year after year with new titles and links.
The information is sorted per year, per topic and per country, and also includes a list of Evidence Based Telemedicine/Telehealth experiences. The “Year” refers to the year the presentation was made at Med-e-Tel. The “Topic” section lists the presentations per general topic (such as telecardiology, homecare, developing countries, etc.), while “Country” refers to the country of the authors. Although this classification per country is not as relevant for all presentations (as some cover regional or global issues, or non-country specific data or experiences), it is highly relevant for some of them and allows to search for country specific Telemedicine and eHealth programs or data.
The “Evidence Based Telemedicine/Telehealth” section provides an overview of presentations that offer evidence of Telemedicine/Telehealth outcomes, i.e. providing an insight into clinical and/or economic effectiveness and efficiency of Telemedicine/Telehealth applications.
If summarize– with more than 3500 abstracts, presentations and papers, Med-e-Tel is offering an extraordinary virtual free library, a fantastic educational tool for all engaged in the field of Telemedicine/eHealth.
In sum: Med-e-Tel is extremely valuable and unique educational tool. It demonstrates and leads the way from needs to practical applications, highlights quantitative numbers and results, serves networking and provides education for science, practitioners and citizens. Med-e-Tel is the perfect organization to follow-up on what is globally going on and what the new trends in the area of eHealth are.
Dr. Malina Mitkova Jordanova
Space Research & Technology Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Researcher
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