Virtual Orthopedic European University
Prof. Ph. Cinquin, Ph.D.,M.D.
Université Joseph Fourier Grenoble, France
Institut Albert Bonniot
Project No.: IST-1999-13079
Today, theoretical and practical experiences in diagnosis and therapy in orthopaedics are learned during studies and continuous educational programs by traditional lectures, textbooks, journals, internships and hands-on workshops. For practical education and training an experienced surgeon advises his student or junior surgeon and supervises and corrects if necessary. However, a medical student or junior surgeon might be rarely or even never confronted with rare diseases or emerging therapy approaches. Moreover, for low case numbers single clinical centres only can derive statistically secure data and experiences on the basis of long term studies which might be sometimes difficult to conduct due to organisational as well as financial problems.
In contrast, the rapidly evolving technical development of therapy techniques, such as computer assisted surgery technology, requires more and more efficient standards for evaluation and quality assurance in order to enable the medical community to adequately assess and control this evolution. Experiences and case data have to be collected and processed much faster and on a broader basis and have to be instantaneously provided for ongoing clinical research as well as (if appropriate) for continuing education.
Furthermore, a great variation of educationand therapy approaches throughout Europe has to be taken into account. The related experiences have to be exchanged and matched more and more in the context of an European harmonisation.
Regarding the practical skills of a surgeon e.g. concerning new surgical techniques (such as arthroscopic or computer assisted surgery methods) the need for more quantitative evaluation and quality assurance methods has been discussed. In this context, a need for standardised and cost effective training systems has been identified, too.
Concerning these issues, the traditional system of education and training could potentially be supported by new multimedia computer and internet based approaches and technologiesConcerning these issues, the traditional system of education and training could potentially be supported by new multimedia computer and internet based approaches and technologies.
In the framework of the EC-project VOEU ("Virtual Orthopaedic European University", IST-1999-13079) medical experts, university research institutions and specific professional associations from different European countries are co-operating concerning related components: