Project Involving Innovative Use of Information Technology is Finalist For Computerworld Smithsonian Award

By Lois Baker

Release Date: May 17, 1994 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A specialist in the University at Buffalo Department of Rehabilitation Medicine watches his young patient’s efforts to relearn to walk after a debilitating illness, and discusses her progress with her parents and physical therapist.

Nothing unusual -- except the physician is in the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo and the patient is in Cuba, N.Y., 70 miles away.

This long-distance medical examination and consultation is a finalist in the 1994 Computerworld Smithsonian Awards for innovative uses of information technology.

The project was made possible through the joint efforts of Sprint, Nynex, Cuba Memorial Hospital, the Western New York Health Sciences Consortium -- composed of the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and its eight teaching hospitals -- and the Western New York Rural Health Care Cooperative.

The awards will be presented June 6 in Washington D. C.

The Computerworld Smithsonian Awards were established six years ago to locate, recognize and record applications of information technology that are transforming America. The Cuba project, nominated in the medical field, will be included in the Computers, Information & Society section of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Collections, which is documenting the history of the field.

Nynex established the prerequisite fiber-optic connection between the two sites, and Sprint provided the equipment needed to conduct the interactive consultation. The project aimed to demonstrate the potential of such technology in the field of medicine.