August 02, 2012
|Steven Stites Acting Executive Vice Chancellor, Acting Dean, KU School of Medicine|
I was so proud to watch last week as members of the KU Medical Center faculty and staff played a major role in the launch of the long-anticipated Google Fiber project. Kansas City was in the national spotlight once again as the Web search leader unveiled its ultra-high speed Google Fiber service for the two Kansas Citys with plans to expand to other cities later. The one gigabit network is said to be 100 times faster than what most people have in their homes and businesses now.
As one of Google's content partners, the medical center has been prominently featured at the Google Fiber demonstration center, which opened last week.
Being a partner with Google Fiber has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to be a bridge to Kansas Citians and others around the country, demonstrating how cutting-edge technology can help improve the health and wellness of our communities. Particularly impressive during the grand opening were members of our Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, who conducted "long-distance" nutrition sessions using state-of-the-art digital teleconference systems. From their offices on our campus, dietitians connected to the Google Fiber space to interact face to face with visitors at the showcase. Thanks to the ultra-fast fiber internet connection, buffering and poor video streaming quality are minimal.
During the first weekend of the Google Fiber experience, KU dietitians conducted 50 one-on-one nutrition consultations, answering questions on everything from how to avoid cramps during exercise to the benefits of adding coconut oil to a diet. Our dietetics and nutrition faculty will continue to offer their services seven days a week over the next six months.
Our nationally recognized Center for Telemedicine and Telehealth has also been presenting a short weekly program via televideo on "Telemedicine - Present and Future" to Google visitors. Capitalizing on our long national leadership in the field of telemedicine, KU Medical Center is participating in the Google Fiber initiative to demonstrate the opportunities for health care providers to interact with their patients outside of clinical settings.
My particular thanks to Steve Fennel, director of Telecommunications Outreach, who has been leading the medical center's involvement with Google. Thanks to his dedication, this partnership has been even more successful than we anticipated.
We look forward to our continued partnership with Google, as we move closer to making Google Fiber a reality in our community.