Open wide: Australian trial uses IPTV to deliver dental education

The University of Melbourne's Shepparton, Australia campus is taking a bite out of the dental education process by using high-speed broadband and IPTV--including HD and 3D video--to deliver dental education to regional Victoria.

An 18-month trial, funded as part of an $18 million Broadband Enabled Innovation program, is being conducted by the Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society, the Melbourne Dental School at the University of Melbourne, Ericsson Australia, Australia's Academic and Research Network (AARNet) and Panasonic Australia. The goal is to deliver live broadcasts, educational VOD and other resources on the Uni TV multichannel IPTV system.

"Students and clinicians on placement in Shepparton will have the opportunity to view live and pre-recorded broadcasts of lectures, seminars and surgical demonstrations from the Melbourne Oral Health Training and Education Center," Victorian Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Philips said in a statement carried by ComputerWorld.

The trial is more complex than your routine tooth cleaning and hopefully less painful than your routine root canal. It depends on an AARNet connection over which to distribute HD and 3D educational and training content from the Melbourne Dental School to students and "demonstrates the value of IPTV technologies and high-speed networks in delivering quality educational resources to students and practitioners living outside major metropolitan centers," AARNET CEO Chris Hancock said in a press release.

One of those PR actioners will be a dentist in Brunswick who will be able to access Uni TV in his home via a National Broadband Network (NBN) connection is also part of the trial.

IPTV is at the root of the trial because it "has the potential to transform health and dental education in regional communities (by giving) students access to high quality instruction by leaders in the field without having to travel to Melbourne," Ken Clarke, senior research fellow at the Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society added in a statement.

A launch event allowed participants in Shepparton to watch a live 3D broadcast of a dental procedure at the Melbourne Dental School, the AARNet press release said.

For more:
- Computerworld has this story
- and AARNet issued this press release

Related articles:
Canada takes lead in telehealth; Comcast to offer $10 broadband to low-income households
Nearly 3M patients are already using home monitoring: Berg Insight