NRC Telemedicine Project launched at kick-off conference
NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, addressing the NRC telemedicine kick-off conference.
Medical experts, diplomats and government officials from across the NRC gathered in Brussels on 13 February to participate in the kick-off conference for the NATO-Russia Council Science for Peace and Security (NRC SPS) Committee’s telemedicine project.
When natural or manmade disasters strike the lack of immediate access to medical specialists is a common problem. It is often the case that specialist doctors working in urban centres are not available at the time or place where disasters happen.
To combat this issue and ultimately increase survival rates in emergency situations, NRC nations led by Russia and Romania are working together to develop a multinational telemedicine system capability, including an international network of medical specialists. Through this virtual system, medical expertise will be on hand from far flung locations directly into the disaster zone helping medical teams in situ.
During the first phase of the multiyear telemedicine project, Romania, Russia and the United States’ respective telemedicine systems will be connected. Following this, the multinational telemedicine system will be further developed including and put to the test in a disaster exercise. Once telemedicine has proven its worth, the aim is to expand the multinational telemedicine system into a viable operational system.
Cooperation among NRC scientists
This new multiyear telemedicine project follows in the steps of other successful NRC SPS projects. This includes the Stand-Off Detection of Explosives (STANDEX) project which has developed an NRC technology to detect explosives in crowded places such as transport hubs, and a project led by Russia and Lithuania which to aims to develop solutions for effective oil spill management in South-Eastern Baltic, a key environmental security issue for all countries in the Baltic region. These project and others continue to underscore the importance of NRC scientists working together to provide solutions to a range of security issues common to all NRC nations.
In their opening speeches at the conference, co-project directors Dr Raed Arafat, Head of the Emergency Situations Department at the Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs and Dr Sergey Goncharov, General Director, Ministry of Health, Russian Federation played tribute to the significant efforts that had been made by all involved to begin the telemedicine project for populations across the NATO-Russia Council.