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Interactive Medical Video Communication Appears to Be Ahead, but Many Early Efforts Left Behind

Phil Gunby
JAMA. 1995;273(5):367-368. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520290019007.
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EXCITING predictions are being made about the future of interactive video communication in medicine and other fields.

But what about the meantime? Various broadcast approaches of the recent past have met varying degrees of success.

At the end of December, for example, American Medical Television (AMT) ceased regular telecasting after 6 years. Four months earlier—in August 1994— Christopher Whittle's interactive Medical News (television) Network was canceled.

Almost exactly a year before that, in August 1993, the Lifetime Medical Television network ceased operation. And in December 1989, the Physicians' Radio Network (which broadcast on frequency modulation sideband to special radio receivers provided to physicians in each area) went off the air.

Now What?  For the moment, says Larry E. Joyce, president of publishing and multimedia development for the American Medical Association (AMA), the association is focusing on developing more continuing medical education programs on CD-ROM (compact disc, read-only memory), developing an


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