Imagine Johns Hopkins faculty members performing
microsurgery in Tanzania from a computer terminal in a
Baltimore operating room, or health care experts in Vietnam
presenting an avian influenza patient to medical students
gathered in the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center. These are
some of the possible applications of a high-tech Internet
communication system that will be used for the first time
this week to link Johns Hopkins faculty with clinicians
thousands of miles away.
Internet2 is a high-speed, high-bandwidth, dedicated
Internet network developed in 1996 by leaders in the
research and education community in the United States as a
way to better support education and research collaborations
worldwide. On Tuesday, Oct. 3, Johns Hopkins faculty
members will use this technology to conduct an interactive
clinical education program on HIV/AIDS with leading health
care professionals in India.
"This is a major advancement in global medical
education," said Robert C. Bollinger, professor of
infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
and director of the
Center for Clinical Global Health Education. "This
technology will allow us to bring Hopkins' expertise in
clinical education to some of the most resource-limited
settings in the world, and it will give Hopkins the
opportunity to learn from experts in the field, thousands
of miles away."
Bollinger said he chose HIV/AIDS for the Internet2
presentation because it's a high-priority health issue in
India, where he has worked extensively researching the
Typical bandwidth for standard Internet conferencing
is 384 kilobits per second, but Internet2 operates at 2
megabits per second. The higher bandwidth allows for better
resolution and permits faculty to utilize complex imaging
techniques, such as manipulating 3-D MRI images.
"You could never perform these procedures with a
standard connection," Bollinger said.
The program, running from 8 to 10 a.m. (5:30 to 7:30
p.m. in India), will link HIV/AIDS faculty experts from
India and Johns Hopkins using high-resolution, multipoint
video conferencing, digital microscopy, 3-D imaging and
other, unique e-learning tools.
Participants will be in four locations at the Johns
Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore; the World Bank in
Washington, D.C.; Capital Technology Information Services
in Gaithersburg, Md.; the National AIDS Research Institute
in Pune, India; BJ Medical College in Pune, India; and the
Education and Research Network in New Delhi, India. A Web
broadcast also will be available for viewing by standard
Internet connection at http://codian.oar.net, login
Highlighting the program are clinical demonstrations
by Johns Hopkins faculty: "Ophthalmology and HIV/AIDS,"
presented by Sanjay Kedhar, clinical instructor of
ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute; "Pathology of
HIV-Associated Diseases," presented by Douglas P. Clark,
associate professor of pathology; "HIV/AIDS Neurological
Complications," presented by Justin McArthur, professor and
chief neurologist; and "HIV Drug Resistance," presented by
Robert F. Siliciano, professor of immunology and a Howard
Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
The presentations will be followed by discussions by
high-level AIDS experts in India.