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Release: Immediate

EDITORS: The following news release concerns the upcoming visit of Welsh researchers to the University of Iowa telemedicine program. To cover the visit or to learn more about telemedicine in Iowa, contact Denise Jurca of the UI Telemedicine Resource Center at (319) 353-5621.

Team from Wales to visit UI telemedicine program

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Telemedicine Resource Center at the University of Iowa College of Medicine will host a delegation from Wales Wednesday, Nov. 5, to demonstrate telemedicine technology and applications. The Welsh team chose the UI as one of only three stops on a fact-finding trip to the United States.

The UI National Laboratory for the Study of Rural Telemedicine is one of the nation's leading centers for research on the use of information and telecommunications technology to provide health care services. Its current projects include long-distance consultations between doctors and patients, remote support for rural emergency rooms and children with disabilities, and home-based information services for people with chronic disease.

Telemedicine holds particular promise in rural areas, including parts of Iowa and Wales. With its capacity to bridge geographic distances, telemedicine may provide advanced medical services to areas that otherwise lack them.

Welsh team members will survey operating telemedicine programs and assess the potential of such programs in Ceredigion -- a coastal district of Wales -- and the Mid Wales region. The eventual goal is to adopt technology and methods that reduce travel for health professionals, improve local care, and speed transmission of diagnostic information and assessments.

UI telemedicine research is supported by a contract from the National Library of Medicine.