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Int J Clin Monit Comput. 1997 Nov;14(4):209-16.

WCALive: broadcasting a major medical conference on the Internet.

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  • 1Division Anaesthesiology & Intensive Care, University of Queensland, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Herston, Australia.


Live video and sound from the 11th World Congress of Anaesthesiology in Sydney, Australia were broadcast over the Internet using the CuSeeme software package as part of an ongoing evaluation of Internet-based telecommunication in the delivery of Continuing Medical Education (CME). This was the first time such a broadcast had been attempted from a medical convention. The broadcast lasted for four days, during which a functioning combination of computer hardware and software was established. Technical issues relating to broadcast of these real time signals over ISDN links and the Internet itself were addressed. Over 200 anaesthetists from around the world were able to 'attend' the plenary sessions via the Internet. Evidenced by feedback received audio reception was quite good. Video reception was less successful for those receiving the broadcast via a modem based Internet connection. The received signal in such circumstances was adequate to provide a video presence of the speaker but inadequate to allow details of 35 mm slides to be visualised. We conclude that this technology will be of use in the delivery of CME materials to remote areas provided simultaneous viewing of high resolution still images is possible using another medium, such as the World Wide Web.

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