IT and Telecom - Communication Tools The Heritage of the Telemedicine Conferences in Visby, Sweden, 1998 and 1999 - an expanding professional network

Ingegard E. Malmros1, M.D., Eugen Charysczak2

1International Coordinator telMEDit, Visby, Sweden
2CEO telMEDit, Visby, Sweden


         Since 1998 professionals in Ukraine, Russia, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania among other states has been collaborating in a special professional network within the healthcare sector, IT and tele-communication. This special network driven by enthusiasts for the new technology and its possibilities has expanded by its own to a couple of thousand members. The origin derives from the first telemedicine conference in Visby, Sweden in 1998. Nevertheless the Internet contacts, mainly by e-mails, net meetings and videoconferences, have made it possible to continue the collaboration on a survival level. AFCEA Visby Telemedicine Subchapter was founded to carry on the volunteer work. The second follow up conference, also in Visby, was arranged already in 1999. The third conference, TechNet Baltic 2001, was a virtual interactive and visual conference using Internet protocol with the control and coordination centre in Visby. A lot of contacts between professionals have been taken, discussions have started and multidisciplinary international projects have found its partners. The lessons learned are that volunteer work driven by enthusiasts only can live as long as the responsible ones have not lost their hearts due to the hard and exhausting struggle for economical support for fulfilling the shared visions. Projects probably have to turn into business plans for getting sustainability. A Clearing House, a tool for exchange of medical information and training might be a possible way for cooperation on the Internet. The author and co-author have been initiators and head organizers of all the activities mentioned above.

Keywords: business plan, Clearing House, interactive, Internet, network, sustainability, telemedicine conference, visual.