Large-scale Internet-based medical conferencing and teaching: a reality today

Dr. Erik Mertens, a leading eye surgeon and renowned teacher of new surgical techniques in ophthalmology, is convinced that medical seminars can be organized differently nowadays. Being an early adopter and one of the very first NUCLeUS users in Belgium, he challenged eSATURNUS to co-organize a medical teaching event over the web, together with Staar Surgical, a manufacturer of high-end implantable lenses.

dr. mertensUnder the title "Surgical Pearls for bilateral Toric ICL Implantation, a Live Surgery Webinar from Medipolis," the first event was announced to the world. Giving large webcasts via internet can be very complicated and are notoriously unreliable, so we appreciated such a small event with a niche audience. Nothing was farther from the truth. In less than two weeks more than 250 participants registered from over 40 countries. Some additional testing was done to validate the load generated by such an extended audience. The eSATURNUS video distribution servers in the datacenters in Diegem and Rotterdam were used in parallel. The video feeds, audio communication and chat channel were flawlessly distributed to visitors ranging from Europe to Asia and the United States.

Paula Ommerli-Weber from Staar Surgical commented afterwards: "Thanks very much for the successful first webinar yesterday. It was a learning experience for all of us and a great basis for the next event. You have established that the technology works as intended which is a huge step forward when comparing yourselves to other possibilities on the market today. Great Job!"

dr. mertensDr. Mertens commented that he did not notice too much from the webinar, as he was concentrating on doing surgery and explaining what he was doing. The surgery was identical to what he would perform in front of a visitor or trainee. This said we took it as a great compliment, that tele-teaching really becomes as easy and intuitive as in any other regular setting.

Interested in organizing a webinar? Contact us.

© 2010, Used with courtesy of Mertens, MD

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