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3 media formats and bandwidth s

3 media formats and bandwidth s

Fig. 4.3 Videos and related bandwidths played in three bandwidths (180, 330, and 800 Kbps) and in three different player media (Real Player, Windows Media Player, and QuickTime) (Fig. 4.3). The latest videos released on WebSurg are also chronologically sequenced, thereby allowing the surgeon to have direct access to any operative key step in the surgical procedure. The success of these videos is confirmed by the rate of hits on the videos, with an increase of 166% in 2004 (from 14,007 in January to 39,618 in December) (Fig. 4.4). An average visit length of 9 min per connection represents a tremendous achievement for a website dedicated to surgical procedures.

4.3 The Voices and Opinions of the Experts

A teaching tool with the objective of reproducing all aspects of a university school of medicine must incorporate regularly updated information provided by world-renowned experts. To ensure and promote this feature, the website offers more than 500 sequences of experts' opinions, where most recognized experts share their opinion on specific topics in different fields of surgery on a worldwide scale. Experts' opinions represent a huge benefit to any standard teaching tool that would generally present only one specific author's opinion about a given chapter. Multimedia technologies make it possible to simultaneously show and voice various experts' opinions of great expertise in a specific domain of laparoscopic surgery in order to improve the richness and value of the delivered information.

4.4 New Improvements for Access to Surgical Education

Despite the worldwide diffusion of the website http:// www.websurg.com, computer access may be considered as restrictive. Computers remain heavy structures and require physical links to provide access to the Internet. Recent developments in wireless access points (WiFi) offer the possibility of getting Internet access without space constraints. On the other hand, most of the professionals manage their schedules and data on personal data assistants (PDAs). Thanks to the latest technological advances, these PDAs allow to display images and sound. The management of data on Web-Surg makes it possible to use such technology. Nowadays WebSurg can be connected via PDAs, hence not only increasing its accessibility, but also placing it at the cutting edge of technology.

Giving access to regularly updated data to a greater number of healthcare professionals gives them the possibility of using the latest innovative means of communication.

4.5 Other Educational Services

The educational sector and value of the World Virtual University represented by WebSurg is also complemented by the presentation of typical clinical cases showing outstanding or common data from patients operated on by laparoscopy.

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