Computer link to help Xinjiang's ill and injured

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 November, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 November, 1997, 12:00am

Telemedicine experts have visited Xinjiang province to pave the way for more sophisticated medical care in the vast region.

Telemedicine involves the use of video, audio and computer links to allow experts in far-flung locations to discuss cases with other professionals.

Specialists from the Faculty of Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU) visited Shihezi University and the First Affiliated Hospital.

The aim was to explore the feasibility of developing telemedicine in the huge north- western mainland province.

A CU spokesman said: 'Patients in the remote areas will be able to receive sophisticated medical assistance immediately.' The CU delegation was led by Professor Magnus Hjelm, who is chairman of the Hong Kong Telemedicine Association.

Delegates examined the equipment and facilities available in Xinjiang so they could install long-distance links.

A collaboration agreement was signed between medicine faculties at both universities.

Shihezi's Faculty of Medicine comes under the control of the mainland's Ministry of Agriculture because it provides important care in rural areas. The hospital deals with more than 300,000 out-patients and 13,000 admissions a year.

Under the agreement, technology will be used for diagnosing cases, training, and conferences.

To mark the handover, CU staged the first 24-hour global telemedicine conference, linking the faculty with Beijing, London and other major cities.