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The Health Show: Virtual Pathology
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The Health Show: Virtual Pathology
Thanks to a special camera and the Internet, Dr. Lan Huong from Ho Chi Minh City can send pictures of bacteria samples to experts in Amsterdam for analysis, the beginning of a collaborative online community of hospitals around the world.
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Produced by Rockhopper TV.

Originally broadcast as part of The Health Show.

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Segment 1

VOICEOVER
Bacteria are all around us.
DR. LAN HUONG [Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Vietnam]
So this is a human culture of a woman, admitted to the ICU of Hospital for Tropical Diseases, and the woman is 45 years old and when admitted has a very high fever.
VOICEOVER
At the Academic Medical Center, here in Amsterdam, they're doing a lab round. But the lab is in Vietnam. A special camera has been developed which can take high-resolution photographs of samples of bacteria. Doctor Lan Huong, at the Vietnamese Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, is sending pictures from her patients to the Dutch experts. And they can discuss the cases over a video link.
DR. CAROLINE VESSER [AMC, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands]
It seems quite obvious to take pictures of bacterial plates and discuss these pictures. No one's done it, at least not in this way. This is a way to collaborate, to interact with people on the other side of the world.
VOICEOVER
The Vietnamese patient is in intensive care with a very high fever. Her brain became inflamed after she ate a raw snail, and now she has a bacterial infection as well.
DR. CAROLINE VESSER
And she has a catheter hasn't she? A urinary catheter?
DR. LAN HUONG
Yes.
DR. CAROLINE VESSER
In these kinds of patients at mixed cultures...
VOICEOVER
The Dutch doctors are happy to share their expertise. And they benefit, too, by seeing a wide range of bacterial cultures from a tropical country.
DR. LAN HUONG
So your advice is to look at the leukocytes in the urine and take a blood culture.
DR. CAROLINE VESSER
Yes.
DR. LAN HUONG
Wonderful.
VOICEOVER
Thanks to their camera, the doctors in Vietnam are learning from the Dutch specialists, while helping their patients at the same time.
DR. LAN HUONG
You only need a good internet line, and you have a camera, which is very handy, sitting next to me, quite small. It's really wonderful to us, because it help us to improve immediately our microbiology aspect.
VOICEOVER
Dutch patients benefit, too. Every bacterial sample taken here in Amsterdam is now recorded using digital imaging. Technicians can compare and diagnose samples at the click of a button. The images are also stored for training purposes. But this is just the first step. They hope to create an online community of hospitals from around the world, able to consult and exchange information at any time.
PROFESSOR MENNO DE JONG [AMC, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands]
To expand, you need a web portal. So if you have a question about a certain culture, you can post it on that web portal, using the same camera, the same quality of pictures. For instance there may be a question about this particular colony on this particular culture plate, you can add a comment and leave it in the website. So this will also be a tool where different laboratories around the world, which have this camera inside their laboratory, can interact.
VOICEOVER
All a hospital needs to take part is the special camera and Internet access. In the meantime, the Vietnamese Hospital for Tropical Diseases is already seeing the benefits.
DR. LAN HUONG
So it's really great to communicate from Asia to Europe, and we can speak and talk and share pictures. And I really, really hope that the other hospitals can receive the benefit of the program.