Rutgers School of Dental Medicine currently supports videoteleconferencing technology in Newark, Northfield and Somerdale, the CODE facilities on the south Jersey campus. These systems allow interactive video and audio transmission between the three sites. Because the VTel equipment conforms to industry standards, the new systems can also "talk" to any other standards-based systems, regardless of location.
The initial purpose of the project was to enhance communications between students and faculty in Newark and students and faculty at the CODE (Community Oriented Dental Education) sites. Using videoconferencing between Newark, Northfield and Somerdale, students and faculty can discuss treatment options, and have hands-on experience with intraoral cameras, digital photography, slide presentations with imbedded images and practice management software. The technology was also utilized by the Departments to present new grade forms to the faculty and students and calibrate faculty at the sites.
Videoteleconferencing or, more simply, video conferencing is basically the two-way transmission of video and audio between two or more physically separate locations. This process depends on various types of cameras and microphones respectively to capture images and sounds. These analog signals are converted to a digital format by a coder-decoder or "codec". They are then "translated" to an analog signal, again by the codec, and finally displayed and heard at the remote site(s) by way of monitors and speakers. It is anticipated that this technology will be utilized for additional applications such as telemedicine type consultations, pre-treatment assessments, remote mentoring and continuing education.
Stay tuned for further developments!