Telecommunications and tele-consultation platform for better patient care in Europe

Tested extensively during the TENPET project, the telecommunications and tele-consultation platform is due to start being deployed commercially from September 2006 in Europe. The project was funded under the European Commission’s eTEN programme. The Internet-based platform, which has its origins in the TeleInViVo project, the winner of the 2001 European IST Prize, uses secure socket layer (SSL) technology and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to protect the data being exchanged, while incorporating Jabber protocols for instant messaging and data transmission between physicians. An advanced imaging console is used for interpreting the scans. It will offer physicians across Europe and beyond the ability to quickly obtain second opinions and allowing them to work together efficiently to interpret Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans and other medical images. George Kontaxakis, the coordinator of the project notes that the consortium saw a ‘clear need’ for greater collaboration particularly in the field of PET, a nuclear medicine imaging technology that uses radioactive tracers to produce three-dimensional maps of functional processes in the body. The technology can be used to detect a variety of diseases and disorders from cancerous tumours to neurological problems. With the TENPET platform physicians are able to collaborate on diagnosis by sharing patient scans and information across organisational and geographical divides. The result is an increase in efficiency, lower costs for healthcare providers and better care for patients.

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