Harvard, Massachusetts General Collaborate on AIDS Research Via Web Conferencing
A web-based collaboration platform is being used to enable participants in the HOPE project to collaborate and share insight on how to treat AIDS and HIV. The Harvard University Center for AIDS Research and Massachusetts General formed HOPE (HIV Online Provider Education) in 2004.
Doctors, researchers and clinicians at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital are now using the Saba Centra Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) online-collaboration platform to hold online conferences with fellow doctors in areas such as South Africa, China and Nepal.
HOPE has held regular virtual conferences since then and currently uses the Saba Centra VOIP (voice over IP) application to meet bimonthly with overseas colleagues.
The SaaS Saba platform runs in the cloud and is accessible on the Apple iPad or iPhone. The application features SSL encryption. Participants without a microphone are able to follow along using text chat. A 15-second window in packet transmissions allows for problems in connections that may occur in under-developed regions without losing the link altogether.
With strains of HIV spreading in South Africa that haven't appeared in the United States since the '90s, researchers in the states are able to learn from their counterparts in that region on how to deal with these strains, he explained.
In fact, Massachusetts General and the Harvard Center for AIDS Research have been able to pool resources via the Saba Centra Web conferences with McCord Hospital in South Africa.
For more, read the eWeek article Harvard, Massachusetts General Using Web Conferencing to Share AIDS Research.