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4th Annual Strategic Business Opportunities, December 2002

MITAC representatives, Mr. Charles Doarn, Dr. Azhar Rafiq, and Ms. Debbie Justis attended the 4th Annual Strategic Business Opportunities, hosted by the American Telemedicine Association (ATA). The event was held December 9-10, 2002 at the Georgetown Conference Center at Georgetown University. The two day meeting included the Advance Briefing for Industry: Business Opportunities with DOD and Other Federal Agencies and the ATA's Industry Advisory Board Business Forum and Policy Briefing: Key Issues Impacting the Telemedicine Industry. This forum provided a unique opportunity for MITAC to garner knowledge and information about the telemedicine marketplace and interact with several telemedicine industry leaders. Discussions were centered around how MITAC and these telemedicine leaders might develop affiliations.

Caribbean Telemedicine Association, November 2002

Brett Harnett represented the MITAC at the Caribbean Telemedicine Association (CARTMA) meeting November 17-19, 2002. The goal of CARTMA is to support efforts to improve the medical care for all persons in the Caribbean region via use of telemedicine. This is highly critical in the Caribbean where transport times and distances to a high level medical center are large. CARTMA will identify medical needs, identify groups willing to fund a solution, and provide training and technology to interested parties willing to make telemedicine and healing a reality in the Caribbean and beyond.

Mr. Harnett performed two live presentations sending his physiologic parameters via Iridium (Low Earth Orbiting Satellites) from a Mini Mitter VitalSense unit. The software, designed by MITAC, packaged the data (20 samples per minute) as XML and automatically encrypted and forwarded the packets using Java. He successfully collected over 2500 data points during two demonstrations with data rates of less than 2400bps.

MITAC Annual Board Meeting, September 2002

On October 14, 2002, the MITAC Board of Directors met by telephone conference. Dr. Merrell, Director, presented the plans for the coming year. Mr. Doarn, Executive Director, presented a review of the past year's activities, the 2002-2003 Business and Operating Plan, and the status of partnership affiliation and future growth. In addition, Dr. Yves Lussier from Columbia University gave a detailed status report on VigiLens™. The Board provided feedback and endorsed the MITAC plans for the coming year.

The First Intensive Balkan Telemedicine Seminar, October 2002

MITAC representatives Dr. Ronald Merrell and Mr. Brett Harnett traveled to Prishtina, Kosova to attend the First Intensive Balkan Telemedicine Seminar "Telemedicine and Telehealth in Developing Countries: From Inception to Implementation. The Future Has Just Begun." October 23 - 29, 2002. The seminar was coordinated by the Kosovo Foundation for Medical Development. The seminar also provided an opportunity for the Opening of the Telemedicine Center at the School of Medicine in Prishtina. The conference was very well attended by professionals from over 30 countries including soldiers from the U.S. Army, KFOR, the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA), the United Nations, as well as local clinicians, students, administrators and technicians.

Leading international authorities in the field of Telemedicine and Telehealth presented at this intensive two and half-day seminar. Dr. Merrell gave three presentations. World-renowned scholars and industry experts addressed the many facets involved in transforming healthcare in developing countries. Topics included aspects on the building and establishing of sustainable telemedicine programs, problems and solutions of clinical applications of telemedicine, distance learning, continuous medical education, and telesurgery. Additional topics included telemedicine applications in home health care, prisons, and trauma and disaster response. The two and a half day schedule was filled with approximately 40 presentations from 30 speakers.

In concert with the conference was the tour of the Telemedicine Center of Kosova located on the fifth floor of the university hospital. MITAC and OrbitalMed provided information and design details for the development of this center.

International Society for Telemedicine, September 2002

The International Society for Telemedicine (ISfT) held the 7th International Conference on the Medical Aspects of Telemedicine: Integration of Health Telematics into Medical Practice in Regensburg, Germany, September 22-25, 2002. Dr. Ronald C. Merrell, Mr. Charles R Doarn, and Dr. Rifat Latifi represented MITAC at the conference. Each gave presentations on MITAC work and served as panel chairs. The MITAC team members also served on the Scientific Committee. The meeting provided a forum for exchange of ideas for collaboration. Discussions were held with Vitel Net and American Medical Devices regarding industrial affiliations with MITAC.

Twelfth Conferernece on Space Biology and Aerospace Medicine, June 2002

Mr. Charles Doarn, Executive Director of MITAC and Dr. Vladimir Lavrentyev attended the XII Conference on Space Biology and Aerospace Medicine, held in Moscow, Russia, June 10 - 14, 2002. The conference was held at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Mr. Doarn gave a presentation, entitled "Validation of Telemedicine Technologies: Ground-Based Testbeds, Analogs for Space Flight". In addition, Mr. Doarn met with Dr. Vsevold A. Tkachuk, Dean of the Faculty of Fundamental Medicine at M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University. Dr. Vasili Loginov, Deputy Dean for International Affairs with the Space Biomedical Center (SBC) also attended the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss collaborative activities in telemedicine and distance learning. Discussions were also held with Dr. Oleg Orlov, Deneral Director of the SBC and Dr. Yuri Revyakin. The focus of the discussion was the preparation and publication of several manuscripts on telemedicine activities as well as continued collaboration on web-based telemedicine software and distance learning. Discussions were also held with Dr. Eugeny Flerov at the National Research Center of Surgery of the RAMS reagarding collaboration in telemedicine as it relates to the collection of anesthesia data using the Internet.

UK e-Health Association, June 2002

MITAC was well represented at the first United Kingdom E-Health Association meeting recently held in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. Mr. Charles Doarn, MITAC Executive Director was invited to give a keynote address at the meeting held on June 10-12, 2002. The UK E-Health Association sponsored Mr. Doarn, who gave a presentation entitled "Health Care Delivery in Space Flight". The meeting was well attended with over 200 participants.

Healthcare in a Digital World, May 2002

MITAC Executive Director, Charles R. Doarn participated on the Healthcare in a Digital World panel at the National Conference on Digital Government Research in Redondo Beach, CA on May 22. The panel members included Muriel Ross, Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico, Thomas Duran, PharmD from the Public Health Service on the Northern Navajo Medical Center, Shiprock, New Mexico, and Fred Pierce, Ph.D. from the University of Alaska. Mr. Doarn gave a presentation entitled, Infrastructure Support for Telemedicine at NASA: Ground and Flight. The panel members presented several challenges and opportunities for digital health care.

MITAC Symposium "Just-in-Time Training for Just-in-Time Care", May 2002

Imagine having training tools at your fingertips for enhancement of skills years after receiving formal training. Such capabilities, although available in some form or another, are not readily accessible to support health care workers in austere environments. Envision a crew medical officer on a Mars mission. She received medical training several months prior to the mission. She is now 14 months into a three-year odyssey from Earth and she must respond to a unique medical event, which has occurred to another member of the crew. If she has not practiced through simulation or another training program to maintain skills she might have a degraded capability. This problem can be observed in many instances the world over.

To explore new approaches in addressing this opportunity, MITAC conducted a discipline-specific symposium entitled "Just-in-Time Training for Just-in-Time Care". This symposium was held on May 13-14, 2002 at the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park on the Medical College of Virginia campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. The meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Ronald C. Merrell, MITAC Director and Dr. Howard Champion, Professor of Trauma Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. Participants at the meeting were from many facets of academia. Each presented a unique perspective on education, simulation and training modalities, stressing the importance and value of just in time training. A final report will be made available at

"Robotics In Medicine" Symposium

MITAC, the Department of Surgery and School of Engineering are co-sponsoring a "Robotics in Medicine" Symposium. This syposium will consist of five discipline specific sessions designed to present various aspects of how robotics are being integrated into surgery and medicine. The formal kickoff of this symposium was in concert with VCU's FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition at the Siegel Center on March 8, 2002.

MITAC Board of Director's Meeting, April 2002

The MITAC Board of Directors and Advisors met on April 22, 2002. The meeting was held by telephone conference and was attended by 16 members, advisors and guests. Mr. Doarn, Executive Director, gave a review of the MITAC's annual report to NASA, the Business and Operating plan for the current year, and a status on how MITAC is doing in meeting this plan. Dr. Merrell, Director, provided a review of the future plans and strategies for accomplishing the MITAC tasks. Both Mr. Doarn and Dr. Merrell solicited feedback from the Board on any mid-year corrections or changes. The material was well received by the Board. Many Board members highlighted the need for their organizations to work closely with MITAC to leverage MITAC's knowledge and capabilities for overall enhancement in telemedicine capabilities. A summary of the meeting is available online.

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