Department of Internal Medicine, Hanyang University Hospital, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
*Department of Endoscopic Diagnostics and Therapeutics, Kyushu University Faculty of Medicine, Fukuoka, Japan.
There is no doubt that telecommunication saves a great deal of time and expense when exchanging information, and recent technological advances have increased its popularity in business and educational applications. Telemedicine is a rapidly developing application of clinical medicine in which medical information is transferred via the Internet or another communication network for the purpose of consultations, and sometimes also for remote medical procedures or examinations. A telemedicine system can also be applied to medical education. Many doctors and medical students could benefit from telementoring and tele-education based on videoconferencing systems. However, telemedicine in general has not yet become popular in clinical practice or medical education. In our university, we have used a telemedicine system to educate doctors and medical students since 2003. Since our first telemedical conference with Kyushu University Hospital on February 12, 2003 when we have regularly performed telemedical conferences. Here we introduce a general methodology for telemedicine, our experiences of medical conferencing using telemedicine, and future possible directions.