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A NETWORK OF INTEGRATED VERTICAL MEDICAL SERVICES TARGETING SHIP VESSELS AND REMOTE POPULATIONS

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Medical care reaches remote populations

People living in remote areas are usually at a great disadvantage in terms of access to medical care. This is also true for people in emergency situations and those working in isolated conditions. Fortunately, a European consortium designed a telemedicine network that solves these problems by providing traditional medical services to these sectors.

Health

People living or working in remote areas often struggle to access adequate medical care. Many emergency situations also warrant immediate medical care despite the fact that traditional medical institutions are difficult to reach. Within this context, and recognising that access to medical services and healthcare is a vital aspect of European society, the NIVEMES project utilised telematics and telemedicine to design a network consisting of health care providers supported by extensive software that aims to bring more effective medical care services to remote populations. NIVEMES brings together administrative functions and medical information in a dynamic way that not only meets the medical needs of isolated populations but also facilitates information exchange between medical institutions in remote areas so as to help them provide better services to their patients. Furthermore, the Greek, Portuguese, Swedish, Irish, British and Italian researchers that developed NIVEMES constructed this telemedicine network in a manner that offers uniform and structured medical care. This conceptual network is made up of medical institutions that are joined using communication links within a coherent network. In fact, NIVEMES developed innovative healthcare services along with services that effectively improve traditional ones. NIVEMES designed a foundation of healthcare services, applications and support functions that assist the network of telemedicine healthcare providers and medical institutions. These services aim to benefit users in isolated areas, such as islands, or in remote working environments such as the navy. The network also provides advantages for mobile user groups, such as the maritime industry. Moreover, NIVEMES developed several innovations, including software modules allowing telemedicine services, and a terrestrial network of electronically linked (WAN) health care organisations. Already successfully utilised in Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Sweden, NIVEMES could additionally improve the medical services available in isolated areas and enhance healthcare throughout Europe.

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