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Functional Service Integration in Support of Professional User Groups

Objective

To define, specify and develop a prototype multimedia applications environment in the health-care sector over ISDN and evaluate its usage.
A multimedia workstation for clinical communications has been developed for consulting between specialists in medical procedures. The technical objectives of the product are summarised as follows:
definition and development of a platform with a documental database which allows storage, retrieval and editing of multimedia documents;
definition and development of an application to allow interactive communications;
implementation of an electronic mail for multimedia documents;
provide flexible communications media through narrow and broadband interfaces;
adapt a man machine interface to the user requirements.

The main aim of the research was to define, specify and develop a prototype multimedia applications environment in the health care sector for use with the integrated services digital network (ISDN) and to evaluate its usage. The research took into account:
the special requirements of health care professionals;
security, speed and operation in clinical environment.

The project carried out an analysis of the generic requirements of professional user groups and the specific requirements of the health care sector. Development of the multimedia work place facilities gave real users the opportunity to experiment, and in some cases put it into everyday use. The system was improved and demonstrated to the users by means of hands on training. Feedback has been obtained from the usage of the system by professional user groups in real environments.
Technical Approach

The pilot has established close working relationships with groups of hospital consultants working on at least two hospital sites in each country concerned (UK, France, Spain, Finland). These consultants have been provided with multimedia terminals linked together with ISDN at 2B+D or 30B+D rates on which multimedia working is implemented. The target users are intended to be representative set of the generic 'professional user group'. The key user characteristics being that they are groups of high value staff, working with confidential and sometimes valuable data, located on separate sites but sharing a common culture.

In each country a different pilot experiment has been performed according to local requirements and the technology preference of the local MultiMed partners. Results are being gathered and compared on an international level.

The project will continue to gain user feedback on health care for the RACE URM, and to increase the functionality provided to users.

Key Issues

- Special requirements of health-care professionals.
- Security, speed, operation in clinical environment.
- User-friendliness.

Achievements

During 1988, the project carried out analysis of generic requirements of professional user groups and the specific requirements of the health care sector and it identified and specified the technologies it would use.

Development of the multimedia work-place facilities began during 1989, and in 1990 real users were given the opportunity to experiment, and in some cases put it into everyday use. During 1991, the system has been improved and demonstrated to the users by means of hands-on training. Feedback has been obtained from the usage of the system by professional user groups in real environments. The pilot has been offered to the IBC/LAB and a plan has been prepared to show the demonstrator in Seville during the Expo'92.

A major achievement was that the MultiMed prototypes in Rennes and Nantes were used at the launch of France Telecom's NUMERIS in that region to demonstrate the capability of ISDN.

Expected Impact

A significant improvement has been achieved in the accessibility of multimedia health-care information for professional (not IT-trained) users, resulting in faster and more accurate diagnosis and therapy. Within the RACE programme the main impact of the project will arise from the provision of data on IBC usage within the health care sector, and on the evolution of user requirements from local to geographically spread multimedia applications.

Coordinator

APD
Address
Castello 63
28001 Madrid
Spain

Participants (10)

APSIS
France
Bayer Diagnostics
France
LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
Address
Ashby Road
Loughborough
Medical Computers France
France
Oxford Brookes University
United Kingdom
Address
Gipsy Lane Headington
OX3 0BP Oxford
Oxford Consultants (Europe)
United Kingdom
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL)
United Kingdom
Address
Chilton
OX11 0QX Didcot
Sistemas Expertos
Spain
Sopha Médical
France
Address
105 Avenue Morane-saulnier
78530 Buc
Technical Research Centre Finland
Finland