Danube Delta - Romania, the 25th of June 2004
Mobile Telemedicine in the Danube Delta - demo action
The Telemedicine in Romania
Why Danube Delta?
The Mobile Telemedicine Demo
Technical Details
The Team
Acknowledgements & Thanks
Sponsors & Cooperators

In Romania it is already operational a telemedicine network between major medical centers from Bucharest, Constantza, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Craiova and other important cities. The communication channels are generally multi-modal, including broadband optical cable, radio data streamers and satellite connections. The current telemedicine applications are tele-consulting, tele-conferencing, clinical and imagistic data exchange, continuous medical education, etc.
There is a strong commitment to extend the national telemedicine system till to the basic health assistance system including family health-care, health insurance system and integrated medical databases.

Taking into account that Romania has remote, infrastructureless areas, exposed often to natural disasters (flood, earthquakes, etc.), the tele-medical act supported by satellite communications means could be, and often is, the sole data transfer solution.
The Danube Delta is such a remote infrastructureless region where the population dispersion and density, as well as, often, the land instability require a tele-medicine assistance solution characterized by mobility and fast deployment.

Danube Delta Landscape Gallery

As an avant-premiere to a future Mobile Telemedicine Pilot project in the Danube Delta Danube area, during the Conference "Integrated Space Applications in the Danube Basin" held in Mamaia - Romania was organized, for the first time in Romania a real mobile telemedicine demonstration during a trip in a remote area of the Danube Delta.
Please click on the images to enlarge

During the demonstration session Prof. Ronald Merrell, MD, (affiliated to Virginia Commonwealth University and NASA) acted as the on-site physician consulting a member of the ship crew supposed to be in a critical health state. Real time echographic images where transmitted and there was a videoconference tele-consulting with Tony Hangan, MD, situated at the Constantza District Emergency Hospital, via satellite data connection.
Please click on the photos to enlarge

Mobile Telemedicine Demo Gallery

The equipment used was: one Sonosite portable echograph, one Regional BGAN satellite data modem, one multimedia notebook with accessories. The communication was made over Internet between the RBGAN public IP and the Constantza District Emergency Hospital public IP. The specific software included with the echograph and with the RBGAN modem integrated the data stream transfer through the Internet channel established from IP to IP (mobile site in Danube Delta and the gateway of the Constantza District Emergency Hospital gateway).
Please click on the photos to enlarge

The on-site consulting physician assisted by the nursing assistant operated at the notebook/echograph console on the ship and the tele-consultant physician operated at the console of a multimedia station belonging to the Constatza Hospital IntraLAN. Microsoft NetMeeting carried on the tele-consulting. The overall, average, data transfer rate was 56 kbps by means of an INMARSAT satellite connection.
The on-site (on the ship deck) equipment setup and the connection initiation were realized in about 10 minutes. The tele-medical intervention, comprising the echographic investigation and the tele-consulting between the two remote physicians, lasted for about half an hour.

Equipment Gallery

The medical team (in alphabetical order):
- Mr. Catalin DRAGHICI, RN, on-site nursing assistant, The VAVIAN Trading Company - Bucharest;
- Mr. Tony HANGAN, MD, remote tele-consulting physician, The OVIDIUS University - Constantza;
- Prof. Ronald MERRELL, MD, on-site physician, Virginia Commonwealth University and NASA.

The technical team (in alphabetical order):
- Mr. Cosmin BOANCA, EE, The Fundeni Clinical Institute - Bucharest;
- Mr. Iulian MAGUREANU, EE, Global Communications Services Romania Company - Bucharest.

- Mr. Vlad VALEANU, EE, The Excellence Center for Space Applications in Medicine and Human Biological Welfare

People Gallery

We are delighted to express thanks to Prof. Ronald MERREL for his outstanding participation and support of the mobile telemedicine demonstration in the Danube Delta, for his contribution and effort in the preparation phase as well as for his involvement in the on-site telemedicine act.

Special thanks to professional personalities and the represented Organizations for supporting the whole action:
- Mrs. Simona DIMA, MD, from The Constantza District Emergency Hospital;
- Prof. Vasile SARBU, MD, from The Constantza District Emergency Hospital;
- Mr. Catalin Nicolae GRASA, MD, General Manager of The Constantza District Emergency Hospital;
- Prof. Irinel POPESCU, MD, from The Fundeni Clinical Institute, Bucharest;
- Prof. Pierre de HILLERIN, PhD, from The National Institute for Sports Research, Bucharest;
- Mr. Marius-Ioan PISO, PhD; President of The Romanian Space Agency.

We would like to thank Mr. Cosmin NISTOR from the Romanian Space Agency for his help in the organization and his contribution to the demonstration success.

We would like to mention the participation of Mr. Bryan DOUGLAS, CTO at MITAC-USA, and Mr. Daniel ONISOR, MD, from The Fundeni Clinical Institute - Bucharest.
Mr. Lucian PANAIT, MD, currently at Virginia Commonwealth University, significantly contributed to the event preparation.

The organizers of the mobile telemedicine demonstration in the Danube Delta thank to the sponsors of the event:
- VAVIAN Trading srl - Bucharest;
- Global Communications Services Romania S.A. - Bucharest,
- The Romanian Space Agency,
- PROTGUARD National Ovidius - Constantza,
- Donna Maria srl - Bucharest,
- OnlineSolutions Media srl - Bucharest.

Finally we express our thanks to the staff of Atlantic Tour Company - Bucharest, and to the whole crew of the leisure ship "CAMENA" - Tulcea for their understanding of the special circumstances implied by the mobile telemedicine demonstration.
photos - courtesy of ROSA, Mr. Alexandru Badea, Mr. Cosmin Nistor
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