The European Medical Network (for short EMN) has been formed to create a distance-learning service for the medical professions in Europe; at its core a menu-driven digital satellite broadcast combined with an Internet Service.
The Pilot project has been launched in order to assess and verify:
- Acceptance of the proposed service by the target groups
- Operational feasibility throughout the entire value chain
- Financial feasibility of all separate steps as pro rata Business Plan budgets
The principal issues which the project addresses are:
- technical reliability and quality of transmission in different formats
- professional relevance and user-friendliness for target groups
The Pilot Project should prove acceptance of the proposed service within the European Medical Community as a cost-effective and user-friendly medium to complement traditional media of Continuing Medical Education and thus enable EMN to migrate the pilot into a permanent operational service.
Display of educational audio-visual programmes on PC and TV simultaneously:
- Internet Connection
- Email Client
- AV Streaming from the NOC-MPEG1 (service from TFC, which broadcasts audio and video titles via satellite to closed user groups using a multicast protocol
- Package Delivery (service from TFC, which broadcasts files in a reliable manner from the CMC server via satellite to closed user groups- point to multipoint- and stores the files on the client PC. The service requires a return path to the CMC in order to request missing dates)
During the pilot phase EMN will offer four different originally produced programmes:
- Palliativmedizin fuer terminal kranke Tumorpatienten
- Interventional Cardiology: CurrentPractice, Techniques and the Prevention of Restenosis by Brachytherapy
- Les Antiretroviraux: Indications Therapeutiques
- Bone Nailing and Plating Techniques
in three different language versions (English, French, German) in a linear (video) format as well as in English in an interactive format (based on Lotus Learning Space software platform), to a total of 100 physicians in five different countries (Germany, France, UK, Netherlands and Switzerland).The necessary hardware and software will be made available to the users for a period of no less than four weeks.
The transmissions will be carried out in two batches to 50 respective down-link sites as follows:
- Batch 1: Germany/Switzerland, February1999
- Batch 2: France/UK/Netherlands, April1999
The EMN pilot project for ARTES-3 has been concluded by the end of 2001.
The basic concept of delivering CME (Continuing Medical Education) content vie satellite or satellite-supported online connections to the physicians home has well been accepted by the target community.
Overall conclusion is that IP Multicast via satellite for a large region (such as W-Europe) is the most efficient way to distribute high data volume.