In spite of the progress achieved in research and prevention, cancer remains the second cause of death by disease in Europe. A great impact in successfully fighting this disease may be achieved through the use of new methodologies to improve the diagnostic phase and through the dissemination of information to citizens. The World Wide Web represents the easiest existing infrastructure where all the above-mentioned aspects can be made accessible and integrated. The aim of the project is to validate an integrated web system offering telemedicine services addressed to health professionals and services addressed to general practitioners and patients/citizens.
WEBLINC will validate web-based telemedicine tools, including telepathology applications for on-line live consultations, built on a high-end, interactive videoconference system providing real-time video, still images and audio transmission. The tools will be based on the Wavelet transform, implementing the JPEG2000 standard in course of release. Telemedicine tools will be integrated within a web-site, with the aim to define a real interactive European Portal for Oncology (WEBLINC) which will also offer services for patients/citizens, including all the already available information of possible interest. Validation will be done both technically and from a strictly medical point of view. The business objective will be to verify the model of sustainability which will enable to offer a social service to patients/citizens totally free of charge for them as it will be sustained by the profit derived from the business service addressed to health professionals.
The technical validation will evaluate:
transfer time of files;
time delays in application sharing;
quality in videoconference application;
reliability of data transmission and data integrity.
The medical validation will be based on:
improvement in diagnoses;
definition of protocols for the use of telemedicine tools to be proposed as a standard for oncology and for other medical specialities, since oncology concerns almost all body districts;
reproducibility of the consultations.
During the project the application will focus on breast cancer, which registers a high percentage of incidence and a strong possibility of prevention and care, if early detected. The work planned to achieve the objective of the project will concentrate on the following aspects: web adaptation of the telemedicine tools, integration of the telemedicine and telepathology tools within a common infrastructure, definition and implementation of the validation phase, results evaluation for the different telemedicine tools, integration of the information dissemination services. In the very first phase of the project all the requirements of the services to propose on the web will be fully evaluated. In this initial part of the project all the criteria to be used for the validation of the tools and services of the web application will be formalized.
Web application will be designed according to these requirements and integrated with the applications of:
general-purpose telemedicine (mainly addressed to radiologists for telemammography consultations),
and information dissemination service.
After this integration the validating phase will be performed, sessions of telemedicine will be performed and form for data collecting (including criteria validation parameters) will be collected. At the end of this stage the evaluation of the results will be performed.
The expected result is the validation of the applications under evaluation and of the business model for really implementing the system in the day-by-day practice. At the end of the project an exploitation plan, including a preliminary business plan, will be prepared indicating new services to be implemented and new pathologies to be assessed in the telemedicine applications. The final results of the project will be presented during a web live event promoting this kind of service.
Funding SchemeACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures