Television transmission of diagnostic and educational information can help to improve specialized medical care in remote and underserviced areas. This paper describes a pilot study in which the Canadian satellite Anik-B was used to link the James Bay area in northern Quebec with two large Montreal teaching hospitals. Broad-band real-time television was well suited for tele-education and teleconsultation activities. A much less costly method, using narrow-band slow-scan television, was also examined, but it requires improvements. The technology of telemedicine is in place, but its future use is impeded by the prohibitive costs of operating an efficient two-way broad-band television system for several remote health care sites. A solution to this problem may be an intermediate-band system combining some of the low-cost features of narrowband slow-scan television with the interactive high-resolution advantages of broad-band real-time television.
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