Multimedia Distance Learning Solutions for Surgery

Multimedia Distance Learning Solutions for Surgery

Jelena Vucetic (Alpha Mission, Inc., USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-002-8.ch027
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In the last decade, advances in medicine, telemedicine, computer technologies, information systems, Web applications, robotics and telecommunications have enabled creation of new solutions for training and continued education in various medical disciplines. This chapter presents most recent developments and future trends in distance learning for surgeons, focusing on the following goals: a) Building a comprehensive, world-wide, virtual knowledge base for various disciplines of surgery and telesurgery, including text documents, videos, case studies, expert surgeons’ opinions, and relevant references; b) Building a virtual knowledge base for rare medical cases, conditions and recommended procedures; c) Interactive multimedia simulators for hands-on training in all surgical disciplines; d) Building a worldwide surgical community, which will accelerate the accumulation and sharing of the latest surgical breakthroughs and technological advances throughout the world. Above all these goals, the most important goal is to improve patient health and convenience, and reduce risks of mortality and complications.
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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (, employment of physicians and surgeons will increase annually 10% - 20% through the year 2012 because of the expansion of the health care industry. The growing and aging population will drive overall growth in the demand for medical services. Therefore, the demand for surgeons is expected to be favorable, although highly sensitive to changes in consumer preferences, healthcare reimbursement policies, and legislation. Reports of shortages in some surgical disciplines or geographic areas should attract new entrants (surgeons), encouraging schools to expand their programs and hospitals to expand available residency slots. On the other side, new entrants may be discouraged by demand for the long-term commitment and high expenses of surgical education and training. To become a surgeon, it takes 4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of medical school, and 3 to 8 years of internship and residency.

Surgical training requires close supervision and evaluation. Technical competence of surgical learners is evaluated by the mentor and has always been subjective (Otta, 2005). Typically, qualitative rather than quantitative evaluations are performed in traditional surgical training.

Based on the most recent trends in surgery, distance learning represents a very attractive medium for training of new as well as continuing medical education (CME) for seasoned surgeons in:

  • Traditional Surgical Procedures: Traditional surgery typically involves 20 to 80 cm long incisions into a patient’s body in order to examine or treat a certain organ or tissue (Otta, 2005).

  • Laparoscopy Procedures: Laparoscopy (minimal invasive surgery) is a relatively new surgical technique that enables major abdominal procedures with only four to five 1 cm long incisions into the patient’s abdomen. The surgeon passes the video imaging scopes and surgical instruments into the abdominal cavity and completes the procedure while monitoring the operation on a display. The advantages of laparoscopy include: a) less postoperative pain, b) earlier patient’s recovery and hospital discharge, c) reduced costs, d) earlier return to work or normal activity, and e) fewer complications (Otta, 2005).

  • Robotic Telesurgery: In 2001, the first telesurgical operation (called the “Lindbergh Operation”) was performed at a distance of 4,000 miles by a surgeon in New York, USA on a patient in Strasbourg, France. Using a satellite link to control remotely a surgical robot, the surgeon successfully removed the patient’s gallbladder. This first telesurgery operation has demonstrated an enormous potential to expand the availability of surgical expertise to patients worldwide. On the other side, it has also clearly indicated that telesurgical technology needed to be improved with respect to tactile feedback, instrumentation, telecommunication speed and availability (Eadie, L. H., Seifalian, A.M., Davidson, B.R, 2003). In addition, new challenges in telesurgery have been discovered in the domains of education, liability, legislation, health insurance, and costs.

Laparoscopy and robotic telesurgery require skills that are very different from the skills required in traditional surgical procedures. Surgeons accustomed to using the sense of touch have to learn to perform surgery using a video monitor instead of direct vision, how to compensate for reduced depth perception, and how to distinguish nearly identical-looking objects.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Telemedicine: Delivery of clinical medical services at a distance using advanced telecommunications, robotic and computer technology and their applications.

Telesurgery: Surgical procedures carried out at a distance using advanced telecommunications, robotic and computer technology and their applications.

Virtual Reality: A technology that enables the user to interact with a computer-simulated environment implemented in the form of visual, haptic, sensory, and audio experiences.

Broadband Internet: A high data transmission rate Internet access, which ensures at least 200 kbit/s in one direction according to the FCC standard.

Laparoscopy (Minimal Invasive Surgery): A relatively new surgical technique that enables major abdominal procedures with only four to five 1 cm long incisions into the patient’s abdomen. The surgeon passes the video imaging scopes and surgical instruments into the abdominal cavity, and completes the procedure while monitoring the operation on a display.

Haptic Simulators: Simulators in which the interface to the user is applied through touch, motion or vibration. Haptic feedback is the reactive force applied by the interface in response to the user’s active, tactile force or pressure.

Practice-Based Learning and Improvement (PBLI): An educational approach in which a physician monitors, analyzes and improves his or her own practice behaviors, as well as keep up with advances in relevant medical disciplines. For monitoring and analysis, physicians typically use logs, critical incident journals, and charts. Physicians continue to learn and advance their practical skills and behaviors through recognition of their earlier mistakes, additional exercises of the particular skills that need improvement, and seeking feedback about performance.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Athina A. Lazakidou
Athina A. Lazakidou
Chapter 1
Sanjay P. Sood, Sandhya Keeroo, Victor W.A. Mbarika, Nupur Prakash, Ankur Seth
It is claimed that seeds of ‘medical informatics’ were sown in 1960s.From this time until the 1990s experts have described the discipline as... Sample PDF
Medical Informatics: Thirty Six Peer-Reviewed Shades
Chapter 2
D. John Doyle
E-health technology has started to become commonplace in the clinical world, with practitioners setting up their own Web sites to disseminate... Sample PDF
Medical Privacy and the Internet
Chapter 3
Ana Ferreira, Ricardo Cruz-Correia, Luís Antunes, David Chadwick
This chapter reports the authors’ experiences regarding security of the electronic medical record (EMR). Although the EMR objectives are to support... Sample PDF
Security of Electronic Medical Records
Chapter 4
György Surján
This chapter outlines the history of medical classifications in a general cultural context. Classification is a general phenomenon in science and... Sample PDF
The Cultural History of Medical Classifications
Chapter 5
Spyros Kitsiou
A fundamental requirement for achieving continuity of care is commonly accepted to be the integration and interoperability of different clinical... Sample PDF
Overview and Analysis of Electronic Health Record Standards
Chapter 6
Graham D. Bodie, Mohan J. Dutta, Ambar Basu
This chapter overviews an integrative model of e-health use that connects social disparities at the population level with individual characteristics... Sample PDF
The Integrative Model of E-Health Use
Chapter 7
Firat Kart
In this chapter we describe a distributed e-healthcare system that uses service oriented architecture as a basis for designing, implementing... Sample PDF
A Distributed E-Healthcare System
Chapter 8
Davor Mucic
In this chapter the author gives the short review over wide range of telepsychiatry applications. Furthermore, describes completely new and... Sample PDF
Telepsychiatry Within European E-Health
Chapter 9
Azizah Omar
In this chapter the author discusses several marketing principles and issues related to pitfalls and successes of Telehealth application in the case... Sample PDF
Pitfalls and Successes of a Web-Based Wellness Program
Chapter 10
Isabel de la Torre Díez
This chapter describes a Web -based application to store and exchange Electronic Health Records (EHR) and medical images in Ophthalmology... Sample PDF
A Web-Based Application to Exchange Electronic Health Records and Medical Images in Ophthalmology
Chapter 11
Mario Ceresa
This chapter mainly focuses on biomedical knowledge representation and its use in biomedicine. It first illustrates the existent more relevant... Sample PDF
Clinical and Biomolecular Ontologies for E-Health
Chapter 12
Roger Tait, Gerald Schaefer
The registration of corresponding patient volumes is often a pre-requisite for medical imaging tasks. Accurate alignment, however, usually results... Sample PDF
Distributed Medical Volume Registration
Chapter 13
Bill Ag. Drougas
Internet today is one of the most useful tools for information, education and business or entertainment. It is one of the modern technology tools... Sample PDF
Electronic Commerce for Health Products Services-Problems- Quality and Future
Chapter 14
Christos Bountis
This chapter introduces and reviews the concept of distributed knowledge management within the Healthcare environment and between Healthcare and... Sample PDF
Distributed Knowledge Management in Healthcare
Chapter 15
Jelena Vucetic
This paper describes business and technological challenges and solutions for a successful emergency telemedicine venture called MediComm. Its... Sample PDF
An Analysis of a Successful Emergency Telemedicine Venture
Chapter 16
Tammara Massey, Foad Dabiri, Roozbeh Jafari, Hyduke Noshadi, Philip Brisk, Majid Sarrafzadeh
This chapter introduces reconfigurable design techniques for light-weight medical systems. The research presented in this chapter demonstrates how... Sample PDF
Reconfigurable Embedded Medical Systems
Chapter 17
Konstantinos Perakis
The evolutions in the field of telecommunications technologies, with the robustness and the fidelity these new systems provide, have significantly... Sample PDF
Third Generation (3G) Cellular Networks in Telemedicine: Technological Overview, Applications, and Limitations
Chapter 18
Anton V. Vladzymyrskyy
This chapter introduces usage of telemedicine consultations in daily clinical practice. Author has describe process of teleconsultation, sample... Sample PDF
Telemedicine Consultations in Daily Clinical Practice: Systems, Organisation, Efficiency
Chapter 19
Cheon-Pyo Lee, J. P. Shim
Ubiquitous healthcare has become possible with rapid advances in information and communication technologies. Ubiquitous healthcare will bring about... Sample PDF
Ubiquitous Healthcare: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in Hospitals
Chapter 20
Rafael Capilla, Alfonso del Río, Miguel Ángel Valero, José Antonio Sánchez
This chapter deals with the conceptualization, design and implementation of an m-health solution to support ubiquitous, integrated and continuous... Sample PDF
Agile Patient Care with Distributed M-Health Applications
Chapter 21
Žilbert Tafa
This chapter describes the very actual issues on mobile health (M-H) and home care (H-C) telecare systems, reviewing state of the art as well as... Sample PDF
Mobile Health Applications and New Home Care Telecare Systems: Critical Engineering Issues
Chapter 22
José Antonio Seoane Fernández, Juan Luis Pérez Ordóñez, Noha Veiguela Blanco
This chapter presents an architecture for the integration of various algorithms for digital image processing (DIP) into web-based information... Sample PDF
A New System for the Integration of Medical Imaging Processing Algorithms into a Web Environment
Chapter 23
Daniel Welfer
This chapter discusses the concept of open-source picture archiving and communication systems (i.e. PACS), which are low cost, and easy to... Sample PDF
PACS Based on Open-Source Software Components
Chapter 24
Carolin Kaiser
This chapter introduces a case based reasoning (CBR) system for customizing treatment processes. The CBR system enables the generating of inpatient... Sample PDF
Case Based Reasoning for Customizing Treatment Processes
Chapter 25
I. Apostolakis, A. Chryssanthou, I. Varlamis
A significant issue in health related applications is protecting a patient’s profile data from unauthorized access. In the case of telemedicine... Sample PDF
A Holistic Perspective of Security in Health Related Virtual Communities
Chapter 26
Stamatia Ilioudi
This chapter aims to present various virtual learning environments for medical purposes in the world. More than ever, medical students and... Sample PDF
Virtual Learning Environments in Health
Chapter 27
Jelena Vucetic
In the last decade, advances in medicine, telemedicine, computer technologies, information systems, Web applications, robotics and... Sample PDF
Multimedia Distance Learning Solutions for Surgery
Chapter 28
Maria Andréia F. Rodrigues
This chapter shows how recent computing technologies such as collaborative virtual environments, high speed networks and mobile devices can be used... Sample PDF
Collaborative Virtual Environments and Multimedia Communication Technologies in Healthcare
Chapter 29
Tiffany A. Koszalka, Bradley Olson
A major issue facing medical education training programs across the USA is the recent advent of universal mandatory duty hour limitations and the... Sample PDF
Transforming a Pediatrics Lecture Series to Online Instruction
Chapter 30
Anastasia N. Kastania, Stelios Zimeras
In this chapter the authors investigate telehealth quality and reliability assurance. Various models and standards can be applied to assess software... Sample PDF
Quality and Reliability Aspects in Telehealth Systems
Chapter 31
Kleopatra Alamantariotou
Recent statistics show that the World Wide Web has now grown to over 100 million sites: a phenomenal expansion in only 15 years (Mulligan 2007). It... Sample PDF
Quality of Health Information on the Internet
Chapter 32
Kashif Hussain
This chapter provides a practical approach to computerized system validation (CSV) for the pharmaceutical organizations for the users dealing with... Sample PDF
A Practical Approach to Computerized System Validation
Chapter 33
Bill Ag Drougas, Maria Sevdali
Ergophysiology as a division of the Physiology and helps us today to understand what happens in the human body and movement and how we are able to... Sample PDF
Organization and Evaluation of Experimental Measurements of Ergophysiological Data with the Method of SF12V2
Chapter 34
Daniele Apiletti
Current advances in sensing devices and wireless technologies are providing a high opportunity for improving care quality and reducing the medical... Sample PDF
Ubiquitous Risk Analysis of Physiological Data
Chapter 35
Manfred Doepp
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Chaotization of Human Systems by Technical Electromagnetic Fields
Chapter 36
Mary Schmeida, Ramona McNeal
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Demographic Differences in Telehealth Policy Outcomes
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