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Abstracts

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Q Atelemedicine
Brazilian study of the sustainability of
centres
Rosângela Simões Gundim and Chao Lung Wen
Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Summary
We have investigated the factors which make telemedicine centres sustainable. A pilot study was carried out at two
university telemedicine centres in Brazil: the Faculty of Odontology and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of São
Paulo. Both centres were supported by long-term government grants. One centre delivered clinical telemedicine services
in audiology and odontology, and the other centre delivered clinical services in dermatology, surgery, cardiology, medicine
and second-opinions for primary care. A semi-structured interview script was drawn up and after consensus among four
referees, interviews were carried out with one telemedicine coordinator from each centre. Analysis of the results showed
that telemedicine sustainability is a multidimensional matter, not simply a financial one. The results of the interviews led us
to refine our construct of telemedicine sustainability into seven different macro-group perspectives. These were:
Institutional, Functional, Scientific, Financial, Renovation, Relational and Social. This construct allowed us to convert
strategic and logical factors into a graphical representation. This graphical representation provides a snapshot of the
performance of a telemedicine centre at a particular moment. The next step is to create a theoretical model of
sustainability for testing in ten other centres in different regions of Brazil, including Amazonia.

Correspondence: Rosângela Simões Gundim, 156 Rua Flávio de Melo, #151,


São Paulo, Brazil (Email: rgundim@uol.com.br)

DOI: 10.1258/jtt.2009.003017

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Q Public health education for young students


aided by technology
Debora D Macea, Silmara Rondon, Laiali J Chaar and Chao L Wen
Discipline of Telemedicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Summary
Brazil is a large country with a population of nearly 200 million people. There are difficulties in providing public health
education. To ensure its effectiveness, health education should begin during adolescence, to encourage young people to
adopt healthy habits. A web-based tele-education platform was developed. Thirty students from a public high school in the
rural city of Tatui took part in a pilot trial. Six teachers coordinated the student’s activities. After face-to-face training, the
students participated in tele-education, using a ‘cybertutor’ (an educational environment based on the website) and
discussion lists. There were 15 face-to-face interactions, followed by more than 200 offline and 50 online interactions. The
students learned about seven health topics. During the following year, 20 of the students used their knowledge to teach
people from their local communities. We estimate that about 3000 people, including children, adults and the elderly,
received public health education during events in Tatui and in their schools. The pilot trial showed that face-to-face and
distance interventions in the rural city of Tatui were a feasible method of disseminating public health information.

Correspondence: Debora D Macea, Room 2105, second floor, Av. Dr. Arnaldo,
455, Cerqueira César, São Paulo, Brazil (Email: debora@telemedicina.fm.usp.br)

Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare 2009; 15: 159 DOI: 10.1258/jtt.2009.003018