Koop Medical Electronic Link

In 1997, a pilot project in New England tested an extremely low cost internet-based telemedicine system to provide high quality performance in multiple specialties. This system, called the Koop Medical Electronic Link (KMEL) requires minimal investment and maintenance costs by medical centers and clinics.

After the successful conclusion of a testing phase which offered colposcopy services to women at several rural sites, we developed the current version of KMEL. KMEL is an internet-based telemedicine system for secure and confidential transmission of text and images, text based real-time communications, and dynamic case and communications archives. The system is easy to use and to learn, is extremely reliable, is universally compatible across Macintosh and Windows platforms, requires only low-end hardware to operate, and results in little or no added cost to providers who have information systems already in place.

The system is mirrored on multi-site intranets and on the internet generally. It is thus easily distributed, requiring only internet access to function on its most basic levels, but it is also component-based, allowing users to add functionality to match gains in bandwidth and to adapt to different applications.

Within a short period of time, it is hoped that the KMEL system will be implemented in a number of different primary care applications in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Because of its low cost, and adaptable component-based design, the Institute believes that it will be able to find a wide variety of applications that could benefit from such a system.

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