Telegerontology: Knowledge Exchange Related to Elderly Healthcare Between Brazilian and Portuguese Universities
Telegerontology (TeleGero) is one of the educational activities promoted by the eHealth Lab/MicroG, in co-operation with the Postgraduate Course in Gerontology and Geriatrics at PUCRS. This initiative began more than 10 years ago through videoconference connections, aimed at publicising the activities of different Brazilian teaching and research centres in the area of geriatrics and gerontology. A total of 6 Brazilian states (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Amazonas, Rio Grande do Sul, Pernambuco, Paraná) and Portuguese educational institutions participate in TeleGero, all linked through a server. The thirteen representative members, doctors/professors and other collaborators promote interaction between the Brazilian and Portuguese universities. This work occurs on a monthly basis, from January to November, with lectures focused on topics related to care of the elderly, and based on scientific projects and clinical experiences. A mediator guides group discussions in the videoconferences and time is set-aside during the presentations for questions to the speaker, resulting in greater interaction between the Brazilian and Portuguese participants. Researchers from the engineering area, who are part of the eHealth Lab/MicroG, provide specialised technical support for the videoconferences. The communication system consists of a computer connected to the internal network of PUCRS (intranet) and Teleport Software, connected to peripherals (microphones, sound system and video camera), which guarantees a secure and dynamic connection between the research groups.
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