By exploiting the power of modern communication networks, medical specialists from Hospital Charles Nicolle in Tunis, Tunisia and the hospital of the same name in Rouen, France are reducing geographical isolation and collaborate effectively in the diagnosis and treatment surgical patients with epilepsy.
The program was launched in 2006 and began focused on 15 patients who epileptic drug therapy failed to free them from their seizures. Collaborative work is based on the power of internet networks dedicated to education and research: EUMEDCONNECT3, connecting researchers from southern and eastern Mediterranean and GÉANT, the pan-European colleague.
Work in real time with our French colleagues gave us new prospects for epileptic patients. After a successful surgery can enjoy a life without seizures.
To determine if they were suitable for surgery, each patient’s neurological department of the hospital in Tunis had to undergo a thorough examination with brain imaging and video electroencephalography (EEG). Huge files need broadband – – electro-clinical and radiological results were transmitted through EUMEDCONNECT3 and GÉANT clinical hospital of Rouen, allowing two groups of doctors discuss the results in real time and make surgical decisions together , while exchanging best practices.
Networks with the capacity and confidence of EUMEDCONNECT3 and GÉANT are essential to this work together and ensure rapid and secure transfer of records video-EEG and MRI scans. Both networks were designed for applications requiring rapid transmission of huge volumes of data reliably and with integrity of information.
The published results of this pioneering collaborative work between medical teams from different countries show a success rate close to 100%. Unlike developed countries where sophisticated cases of epilepsy surgery has been a routine practice for several years, the success rate is unusual in the Mediterranean basin. Tunisia has about 40,000 epilepsy patients, of whom 8,000 are drug-resistant to this condition. This means a considerable and permanent improvement in health, potentially for several thousand Tunisian, and a further reduction in costs because involves treatment once definitive results with eliminating the need for drug therapy for life. The program proved so beneficial that it is planning to work with other Maghreb countries to extend the benefits to more people and increase savings proportionally.
While there are several medical programs of collaboration on the issue of epilepsy between developed and developing, this is the first in which Internet technology makes a huge difference.
Epileptic patients are not the only ones who benefit from this program. The GÉANT network, responsible for the creation and maintenance of EUMEDCONNECT3, is behind a network of networks that spans the globe connecting thousands of researchers, academics, scientists and doctors. Several of these research networks and education are used for medical applications by reducing the costs of health care quality, enabling the exchange of medical knowledge and disseminating sophisticated clinical practices to remote areas of the world in developing countries that lack the resources and staff capable.
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