A Sichuan earthquake survivor conferred with Hong Kong medical experts through a teleconferencing hook-up yesterday, marking the city's first attempt to use the technology for a medical consultation. Ma Yuanjiang, who was trapped in wreckage for 179 hours before his rescue and is learning to use an artificial hand, received advice from five Hong Kong experts - a health co- ordinator, a physiotherapist, a psychologist, an occupational therapist and an orthopaedics and traumatology consultant. Mr Ma was at the Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, where the government plans to establish the Sichuan Hong Kong Rehabilitation Centre by 2011 - the site for future teleconference consulting. The experts were in Cisco Systems' office in Wan Chai for the pilot project. They watched Mr Ma use the device, attached to his left forearm, to lift a coin quite easily. But he found it more difficult to pick up a bunch of keys, and when he finally managed it, applause erupted in both Sichuan and Hong Kong. 'The time he takes to open and close his hand could be a little bit shorter,' senior occupational therapist Frank Lai Ho-yin said, adding that more practice would help. Other doctors gave advice on how more training could help the amputee fine-tune small movements. Cisco Systems set up the teleconferencing equipment in the Sichuan hospital, in a truck carrying medics in that province, and at the Breakthrough youth centre in Hong Kong. Cisco has done the work at no charge for Stand Tall, a charity group organised by medical staff from Hong Kong. Equipping the truck cost US$230,000 and the Sichuan hospital US$250,000. The truck will take medical personnel to the scene of disasters and emergencies, from where they will use the link to ask experts, gathered at the youth centre, for advice. According to research by Huaxi Hospital in Chengdu , Sichuan, a million people in the province suffered post-traumatic stress after the earthquake, creating a great need for psychological counselling. The allied health co-ordinator for Stand Tall, Herman Lau Mun-cheung, said local experts could help train Sichuan staff and provide consultations for earthquake survivors using the equipment. 'They don't need to fly to Sichuan every time and we can save much time,' he said. An additional system will be set up at Prince of Wales Hospital in July. 'The system at Prince of Wales Hospital will make it more convenient to draw [on] different experts to attend teleconferencing,' Dr Lau said.