Ohio center focused on global telehealth applications launches website to promote services, membership

Telehealth Video Resource Center on the Web at: www.telehealthvrc.org

Columbus, Ohio (March 18, 2009) – The recently established Telehealth Video Resource Center (TVRC) today officially launched a website to make the center’s videoconferencing services easily available to physicians and healthcare education professionals worldwide.

The TVRC web site, www.telehealthvrc.org, provides visitors with videoconference hardware and software requirements, scheduling tools, telehealth news and instruction, an e-health forum, membership information and staff and advisory board biographical sketches.

“TVRC supports the use of high-quality video for health education and training, research, and associated clinical activities,” explains Charles R. Doarn, the center’s executive director. “Healthcare providers with little technical experience can easily access TVRC resources to communicate via high-quality videoconferencing with other health providers.”

Telehealth is the practice of using telecommunication equipment and computing technology to support health interests. Development of telehealth applications has made it possible for the center to use medicine as a demonstration model for developing a worldwide infrastructure to aid in minimizing the digital divide felt by people in remote and impoverished nations.

TVRC clients might share “grand rounds” where doctors meet to discuss multiple patients, offer demonstrations of new and emerging clinical practices, hold multi-center interactions and conduct clinical trials and other research projects. The center also provides a technology forum for the continued development of telehealth processes and standards.

Ohio officials have placed the Buckeye State at the forefront of telehealth technology by investing in an advanced, statewide fiber-optic network and in pilot telehealth projects at the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet), the technology infrastructure arm of the University System of Ohio. Early telehealth projects included a series of videoconferences where U.S. road trauma specialists shared insights with healthcare professionals in Latin America, Africa and South Asia. Another pilot project involved American surgeons demonstrating orthopedic knee surgery for colleagues in China.

OARnet established TVRC with a goal of the center operating as an independent, nonprofit organization once it becomes self-sustaining. In addition to OARnet and the University System of Ohio, other partners supporting the center include the World Bank, Internet2 and the Ohio Supercomputer Center. Center officials expect to develop networking services for professionals in other fields in the coming years.

The World Bank is a combination of two development institutions – owned by 185 member countries – that provides financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. For more information, visit www.worldbank.org.

Internet2 is the United States’ foremost advanced networking consortium. Led by the research and education community, Internet2 brings together leaders from academia, industry and government to develop and deploy advanced Internet technologies. For more information, visit www.internet2.edu.

The University System of Ohio is comprised of the state’s 14 public universities, 24 branch campuses, 23 community colleges, and more than 200 adult workforce education centers and training programs. For more information, visit www.uso.edu.

The Ohio Academic Resources Network provides Ohio colleges, universities and research partners an integrated technology infrastructure that includes unrivaled intrastate network connectivity and shared services. For more information, visit www.oar.net.

The Ohio Supercomputer Center is a catalytic partner of Ohio universities and industries, providing a reliable high performance computing resources for education, academic research, industry and state government. For more information, visit www.osc.edu.