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August 5, 1983

Communications Satellites in Health Education and Health Care Provision: The WAMI Experience

Author Affiliations

From the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver (Dr Schwarz); and the Division of Research in Medical Education, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle (Messrs Schaad and Evans and Dr Dohner.

JAMA. 1983;250(5):636-639. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340050048027

Since 1971, the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, has operated a four-state, medical education program covering Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. This WAMI Program involves four universities without medical schools and 15 communities. To maintain this program, communication between the sites is imperative and mandates travel. The experiments described in this article were undertaken to determine whether full-duplex audio and color-video interactions via communications satellites could replace the travel requirements of the WAMI Program. Experiments involving the administration of the program, the presentation of the undergraduate medical education curriculum, the provision of health services, and the formation of public policies were conducted. The results suggest that satellite communication has broad applicability in medical education and health care provision.

(JAMA 1983;250:636-639)