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Internet2 and Rede Nacional de Ensino e Pesquisa Form Health Sciences Partnership
Date:10/11/2007

Organizations to Leverage Network Connections to Facilitate International

Telehealth Initiatives

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Internet2 today announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Rede Nacional de Ensino e Pesquisa (RNP), the national research and education networking organization of Brazil, to facilitate international telehealth and telemedicine collaborations. The MOU builds on the organizations' existing long-term networking partnership that was established in 2000. The new MOU was made official today at a ceremony held in conjunction with the annual Internet2 Fall Member Meeting in San Diego, California.

The new MOU provides a pathway for the Internet2 and RNP communities to jointly lead and collaborate on the development of next-generation telemedicine and telehealth technologies and applications. In doing so, the organizations hope to accelerate the adoption of these important technologies both within the United States and Brazil as well as to promote and encourage the continued interconnection of advanced networks around the world in support of telemedicine and telehealth.

"The global research and education community has long understood the potential for leveraging innovative network technology to significantly improve the quality of healthcare worldwide," said Dr. Michael McGill, director of the Internet2 health sciences initiative. "Together, we hope our joint work with RNP will yield many new breakthroughs and collaborations in this very important field and serve as a model for our colleagues around the world."

RNP is today leading a new project called Rede Universitaria de Telemedicina (RUTE) or the Telemedicine University Network. Funded by the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology, the project seeks to build and update the communication infrastructure of 57 university hospitals that are connected throughout Brazil with the goal of enabling all participating hospitals to use the RNP network to run telemedicine and telehealth applications, including video conferencing for information exchange, second opinion, continuous education and web conferencing.

"Telehealth and Telemedicine public policies, research and education today in Brazil receive financial support and attention from federal Ministries: Health, Education, Science & Technology, Communication and Defense; but also from the Federal Medical Council," said Luiz Ary Messina, RUTE's national coordinator. "Scientific partnerships between American and Brazilian health institutions and universities have been newly identified, and researchers from both sides are already exchanging new ideas and projects to cooperate."

The new MOU builds on Internet2's longstanding efforts in the international and health sciences arenas. To date, the organization has over 50 international partnerships and connects to over 70 international networks. Additionally, Internet2 members, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Ruth Lilly Health Education Center together with an additional 140 other connected healthcare organizations and medical schools, are actively working together to develop and deploy advanced Internet technologies in support of health sciences.

About Internet2

Internet2 is the foremost U.S. advanced networking consortium. Led by the research and education community since 1996, Internet2 promotes the missions of its members by providing both leading-edge network capabilities and unique partnership opportunities that together facilitate the development, deployment and use of revolutionary Internet technologies. Internet2 brings the U.S. research and academic community together with technology leaders from industry, government and the international community to undertake collaborative efforts that have a fundamental impact on tomorrow's Internet. For more information: http://www.internet2.edu/

About Rede Nacional de Ensino e Pesquisa

Rede Nacional de Ensino e Pesquisa (RNP) is a not-for-profit corporation incorporated under the laws of Brazil that interconnects over 350 education and research institutions, helping an estimated public of over a million users, and linking all the Brazilian regional academic networks. The 5th generation of this network, named Ipe, was implanted in 2005 and uses optical technology in its gigabits links. The aggregated speed of the backbone is of 60.4 Gbps. There are 27 points of presence (PoPs), one in each Brazilian state. Ipe network is a high performance infrastructure for communication and collaboration between education and research institutions and a laboratory for testing and developing advanced network technologies and applications.


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