In 1995, when everyone was still surfing on CompuServe and using CompuServe email addresses, François Alesch and Dieter Volc had an idea: why not offer something sophisticated on CompuServe, for example, medical topics. Supported by the idea of improving communication with patients and getting interaction out of the traditional medical practice, the two decided to share their medical knowledge in the "Global Village". This was how the community of online enthusiasts called themselves back then. It soon turned out, however, that the provision of information on the SIGs from CompuServe (Special Interest Groups) was very time-consuming and, above all, too static to enable what was the original goal, the live interaction with patients.
Telemedicine was the actual goal, only the rigid pages of CompuServe and later also of the Internet (which increasingly found its way into private households from 1996) did not make this possible at that time.
The vision was there, but not yet the technical possibilities. Even a specially founded society for telemedicine (GTmed origin of the name) could not change this dilemma for the time being. The Internet was too slow for live interaction. The switch to the then-revolutionary ISDN technology, which allowed video telephony and thus the desired interaction, failed because of the purchase costs of such systems and because they were not available in private households.
GTmed organized some sizeable live broadcasts of medical content in the years that followed, but never achieved the original goal of online medical interaction. In 2005 the association ceased operations.
Fifteen years later, in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis, there is suddenly not only full acceptance of the original GTmed concept, but there is also an extraordinarily high need for such live interactions.
"Physical distancing" is widespread, and the need for interactive medical information is greater than ever.
The time has come for interactive telemedicine.