Public Release: 

Telemedicine and e-learning put communities in touch

European Space Agency

The annual event is held for mayors, local government officials and parliamentarians from every region of France. Each year 5000 - 6000 mayors attend.

The itinerary includes a series of demonstrations of European Space Agency (ESA) Telecommunications projects focused on bridging the Digital Divide. For many guests this will be their first opportunity to assess technologies developed in other ESA member states. The French Senate - in a move to address the imbalance that exists in terms of digital access - is hosting ESA Telecom's demonstration.

The French Senate, in partnership with the ESA, is planning to hold a colloquium on the subject of 'Satellites and Bridging the Digital Divide' in Paris on 22 January. The aim is to evaluate the potential role of space infrastructure for the development of Europe's regions.

Two ESA funded projects have been invited to demonstrate their potential for France; both with proven contributions to bridging the Digital Divide. TeLeCare from Canada is a telemedicine project allowing remote patient diagnosis and monitoring via satellite. It allows nurses to videoconference with a patient several hundred kilometres away.

The other project is the award winning 'Espresso for Schools'; this UK-based e-learning project broadcasts multimedia content to the nation's students and teachers. Currently reaching 1750 institutions, the service goes out to over 400,000 users.

Satellite technology is also the perfect solution for delivering video-rich material because it is so much faster than terrestrial networks and can reach remote areas where a terrestrial connection is not an option.

Both projects have been in operation in their home countries for some time already. Le Salon des Maires will be a valuable opportunity for them to show how France can benefit from them. The invitation-only event will be held on November 18 to 20 at the Parc des Expositions in Porte de Versailles, Paris.

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