Introduction to the Medical Project

Project Summary

The project will be based upon a study of the use of MPEG-2 compression to prepare digital video for medical teaching and the technical considerations which will need to be taken into account to achieve classroom delivery under realistic conditions. The project builds upon work undertaken by the Medical Faculty funded by the JISC New Technology Initiative. The present project's findings and guidelines will be relevant to disciplines outside the field of medicine and will be disseminated via the World Wide Web, relevant electronic lists and through paper based publications. The project will run over a period of two years.

Project Background

Over the last three years a series of innovative self-learning interactive CAL applications which feature digital video and sound have been introduced into the medical curriculum at the University of Aberdeen. These applications are delivered across the University of Aberdeen's undergraduate network and are now a well established part of the curriculum. The Medical Faculty views CAL as an important tool which can enhance the learning experience, reduce whole class didactic teaching and increase the IT skill level of the student. These outcomes are consistent with the recommendations of the General Medical Council on the use of IT in medical education. The Medical Faculty CAL Unit has produced most of the CAL applications now integrated into the medical curriculum (other software produced outside the Unit is also used if suitable) and is acknowledged to be a leader in the production of interactive multimedia CAL material in medical education.

Project Description

A study of digital video MPEG-2 compressed (MPEG Standard 13818) video clip preparation for teaching, its suitability for use with interactive multimedia CAL applications and subsequent delivery over a wide bandwidth networks will be undertaken.

The project will run for two years. A Post-Doctoral Research Fellow will investigate delivery of MPEG-2 over the Aberdeen Metropolitan Network and other networks connected to the University. The TimeLine video clip transfer protocol. is being developed to transfer the video clip data from a network server to each of the clients.

A Research Assistant will undertake interactive CAL application development and assist the Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the preparation of multimedia assets. This will take place within the Medical Faculty CAL Unit and the project will be supervised by the head of that Unit. The Head of the Medical Faculty CAL Unit will act as the Project Director.

Initial trials will be point-to-point using the Aberdeen Metropolitan Network (AbMAN). Point-to-Multipoint connection will then be investigated. As and when appropriate, other institutions with suitable equipment will be invited to make use of the MPEG-2 resources e.g. running the CAL applications remotely across the networks. The Research Fellow, in collaboration with the Department of Engineering, will perform a range of network analyses during MPEG-2 delivery running above 5 Mbps at CCIR 601 resolution. Lower rates (<5 Mbps) will also be examined to determine the degree of video degradation on under specified networks.

The final goal of the project is to produce a set of exemplar CAL applications which may be used from a local CD-Rom or via the network using the network software developed by the project.

Why MPEG-2?



Further Information

Full information about the project is specified in the project home pages and project summary. These pages describe the goals of the project, the intended application and also provide on-line access to the reports and technical info.

Further information is provided at this web site, including a list of team members , summary of the network test campaign, overview of the CAL application and a review of the TimeLine protocol developed by the project. Please do let us know if you are doing a similar project, or would like to be involved in the project test phase!!!

The project is being conducted by a team from several institutions and departments. To see the relationship between the team members from the viewpoint of the CAL software production, click HERE.