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Question 28

Multimedia framework for e-health applications

(Continuation of Question 28/16)

Motivation
The evolution of advanced digital telecommunication techniques has enabled the development of multimedia systems to support e-health applications, including telemedicine.

E-health uses information and communication technology (ICT) to support health needs, while telemedicine is considered as that part of e-health where telecommunication systems which allow interconnecting remote locations and to access distant resources. Examples of telemedicine applications are teleconsulting, teleradiology, telesurgery, etc.

NOTE – According to the World Health Organization (WHO), telemedicine is "the use of information and communication technology to deliver medical services and information from one location to another", while e-health is "a new term used to describe the combined use of electronic information and communication technology in the health sector".

This Question focuses on standardization of multimedia systems and services to support e-health applications.

In order to allow a wide deployment of e-health applications, in particular in developing countries, it is important to achieve interoperability amongst systems and to reduce the cost of devices through economies of scale. Consequently, the development of global international standards with the involvement of the major players (governments, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, medical institutions, doctors, manufacturers, etc.) is a key factor to achieve these objectives.

Considering the fact that many organizations are already active in this field (with which ITU has existing cooperation agreements) and that, in addition to technical issues, there are a number of other aspects to be considered (e.g. legal, ethical, cultural, economic, regional), it is considered that ITU‑T can provide the right environment to harmonize and coordinate the development of a set of open global standards for e-health applications.

In the framework of this Question, Study Group 16, as lead study group for multimedia coding, systems and applications, will coordinate the technical standardization of multimedia systems and capabilities for e-health applications in ITU‑T, and will develop corresponding Recommendations and other deliverables.

NOTE – Improvements and additions to the specific characteristics of multimedia systems and terminals under the responsibility of other Study Group 16 Questions will be addressed within those Questions.

Study items
Study items to be considered include, but are not limited to: Tasks
Tasks include, but are not limited to: An up-to-date status of work under this Question is found in the SG16 work programme
(http://itu.int/ITU-T/workprog/wp_search.aspx?sp=16&q=28/16).

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