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Background and Objectives

International Working Conference on the Use of Internet and World-Wide Web for Telematics in Healthcare

Hotel La Réserve, Geneva
Wednesday, September 6 to Friday, September 8 1995


Sponsored by the
IAHIT
International Association for the Advance of Health Information Technology

Under the Patronage of the

Department of Health and Social Affairs of the Republic and Canton of Geneva

In collaboration with


PRESIDENT AND HONORARY CHAIRMAN OF THE CONFERENCE

Guy-Olivier SEGOND
Former Mayor of Geneva, Government of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, Minister of Health and Social Affairs

PROGRAMME COMMITTEE

Mark SELBY
President, International Association for the Advance of Health Information Technology (IAHIT)
Ron APPEL
Geneva Canton University Hospital
Marion J. BALL
Immediate Past President, International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA)
Georges De MOOR
Chairman, CEN - TC 251 (Centre Européen de Normalisation - Brussels)
Christian PELLEGRINI
Chairman, Geneva University Informatics Center
Jean-Claude PETERSCHMITT
Former Chairman, Digital Equipment Corporation - Europe
Jean-Raoul SCHERRER
President Elect, European Federation for Medical Informatics (EFMI)
Paolo ZANELLA
Director, European Bioinformatics Institute - Cambridge, UK

This conference is organised by IAHIT in collaboration with:

Anna Dawson, WALKER and DAWSON, Conference Organizers
1227 Carouge/Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +4122 342 0541 / Fax: +4122 342 0585

Conference Secretariat

University Hospital of Geneva
Hospital Informatics Center, 1211 Geneva 14, Switzerland
Tel: +4122 37 26250 / Fax: +4122 37 26255
E.mail: IAHIT@diogenes.hcuge.ch

BACKGROUND OF THE WORKING CONFERENCE

This international Working Conference will be devoted to the future use of Internet and the World-Wide Web for telematics in healthcare. It is estimated that about 50 - 60 top international experts will participate.

Issues concerning the World-Wide Web, telematics in healthcare and the promotion of the information superhighways at an international level, are presently evolving in an explosive way. There is a need for active coordination of developments in this field.

Because of its international vocation Geneva (UN, WHO, ITU, ILO, WTO) is a natural centre for assembling in a neutral setting some of the major players: those who created the World-Wide Web at CERN, those who are currently promoting the use of telematics in healthcare and those leading the development of the super highways.

WORLD-WIDE WEB

is part of the "Internet" culture which originated at CERN in the early 1990s and rapidly expanded throughout the world. The areas of health, research and education were the first beneficiaries. Now users of the Web increasingly include a variety of governmental and non-governmental organisations, major multinational corporations as well as an ever-growing number of smaller commercial companies and manufacturers, not to mention private users.

TELEMATICS IN HEALTHCARE

will be a major concern of the international community for the years to come, with its associated capability in enabling healthcare institutions world-wide to better decentralise and distribute their informatics architecture. In this respect, "telematics" could become the universal tool to assist in delivering higher quality care. The master concept for the future is the "open system" which will allow "interoperability" and "integration".

THE "HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING AND COMMUNICATION ACT" (HPCC)

passed by the US Congress (1991), together with the White Paper promoted by the European Union (1993) and the G7 - Global HealthCare Applications Project (1995), have established a series of "grand challenges". The solutions lie in the development and application of more powerful computers and a high speed network that will permit the rapid transmission of an immense amount of computerized information. Amongst these "grand challenges" are programmes dealing with health, education and research.

OBJECTIVES OF THE CONFERENCE


WORKING SESSIONS

SESSION I - Identifying the needs of healthcare providers and the opportunities presented by new technologies

The G7 members, together with the European Union, have initiated a series of projects aimed at demonstrating the potential of the information society and to stimulate its deployment. The G7 members and the EU are encouraging the participation of other partners, including international organisations in these projects. It is apparent that many public and commercial projects are already underway around the world utilising emerging technologies and applications. It is important that the nature and implications of these projects and the needs that they are addressing are clearly understood to provide synergy with the G7 initiative for Global HealthCare Applications.

The vision, intents and the concerns of the US Government, the European Union, the G7 members, other Governments, national and international organisations will be described by internationally respected keynote speakers. The presentations will make reference to major initiatives and policy papers, including the US HPCC program, the G7 Pilot Projects, the European Union's 1991 White Paper and the 4th Framework Program.

SESSION II - State-of-the-Art application of new and emerging technologies

The application of the Internet and in particular the World-Wide Web, to the needs of the health sector is growing exponentially. This growth is expected to continue and requires guidelines for its use in many mission-critical health environments, including pharmaceuticals research and marketing. Presenters will provide an overview of the status of the World-Wide Web (originally developed by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN) and its application for telematics in healthcare. Individual case studies showing state-of-the-art application of the WWW, Internet and other telematics technologies will be presented. The availability and needs for more effective navigational tools will also be discussed.

SESSION III - New and emerging clinical requirements

The introduction of more distributed models for healthcare organisations to address the increasing costs of specialist care skills is resulting in greater use of network technologies and applications. This session will consider some of the major changes that are occurring in this new, distributed environment. Specific topics will include; remote access to electronic patient records, the international transplant network and the monitoring of health costs remotely. The enforcement of standards regarding security, confidentiality and validity will be illustrated by examples. This session will also address the question of "security versus freedom".

SESSION IV - Constructive plans for the future - a proposal for co-ordination and co-operation

This session will summarise the prioritised requirements of healthcare providers from the new and emerging technologies and then consider how these can be most effectively addressed in the short term. The creation of an international body, or Foundation, will be proposed to address the articulated needs and support the work of the G7 HealthCare initiative. This new organisation will promote the effective and reliable use of the new technologies for telemedicine in healthcare around the world.
 

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