The Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center recently provided technical support for the Pacific Basin Medical Association (PBMA) conference in Majuro, held from October 3 to 5, 2016. The conference came two weeks after the PBTRC hosted the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) Telehealth Champions Building and Planning Workshop in Honolulu. At the USAPI Workshop, participants were given a demonstration of video teleconferencing (VTC) technology. After learning about desktop VTC, the facilitators, Dr. Tom Jack, Dr. Robert Maddison, and Dr. Kino Reuben of the PBMA conference decided to use the technology to allow others to attend the conference remotely and to facilitate presentations from remote locations. In order to ensure that the technical aspects of the conference ran smoothly, PMBA invited Jose Aquino from PBTRC to be on site in Majuro to assist with setting up the desktop video teleconferencing as a communication platform for the conference. Miguel Brostrom, a PBTRC staff member in Honolulu, monitored the conference and assisted with troubleshooting. Prior to the event, PBTRC also coordinated multiple system tests. Christina Higa, the Co-program Director of the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center gave a presentation via teleconference on an introduction to telehealth and summary of discussions and plans that resulted from the recent USAPI Telehealth Workshop held in Honolulu.
One fun aspect of the conference was that Zumba sessions were delivered via video teleconferencing. Dr. Jack mentioned this as an idea during the telehealth workshop in Honolulu. The Zumba demonstration via video teleconferencing enabled participants to evaluate the quality of the video connection. Even with participants moving and dancing, it was still possible to see their movements clearly. Christina Higa asked the doctors in the room whether the video performance was good enough to observe patient gait movement; overwhelmingly they agreed. Congratulations to PBMA for making good use of video teleconferencing to expand access and participation in the conference!