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Telemedicine University Network opens units in three states

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The Brazilian federal universities of Bahia, Campina Grande and Rio de Janeiro were benefited.

The Telemedicine University Network (Rute, its acronym in Portuguese) is an initiative that promotes the integration of telehealth activities in Brazil, and is now benefiting 160 institutions in the country. This week three institutions launched their connection to Rute: in December 7, the Climério de Oliveira Maternity and the Pediatric Center Master Hosannah de Oliveira, from the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA); in December 9, the Alcides Carneiro University Hospital, the Federal University of Campina Grande (UFCG) at Paraíba, and in December 10, the Institute of Gynecology of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).

Launched in 2006, Rute is present in all Brazilian regions. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT), with funding from the Financial Agency for Studies and Projects (FINEP), that is coordinated by the institution that administers the Brazilian academic network: the National Research and Education Network of Brazil (RNP). The institutions that are part of the programme are benefited with computers, broadband connection and videoconferencing. The main benefit is the one of the communication between health units in the country through the use of information and communication technologies for remote assessment of clinical, research and continuous education in health and pre-diagnosis at a distance.

Special Interest Groups (SIG, in the acronym), in which health professionals of the institutions belonging to the network stage a videoconference agenda, are the prime example of integration that is promoted by Rute. In addition to debates and discussions of events, some of these groups perform remote diagnostics and classes. There are 39 SIGs all around Brazil. The main beneficiaries are students, residents and hospital professionals, who can participate in the SIGs and access to information for research and development.