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Australia leads the way in online innovation.

Interactive Health OnLine, a unit of the South Australian Health Commission, was today congratulated by the Minister for Communications, the Information Economy, and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, for developing the Interactive Medical Curriculum Pilot Project (IMC Project).

The IMC Pilot Project, designed to improve health education in the Asia Pacific region, is an Australian initiative which has received backing from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Australia Agency for International Development (AusAID).

"The purpose of the IMC Project is to accelerate the use of multimedia and on-line services in health and education, and to assist experts from different economies collaborate through interactive information systems," Senator Alston said.

"The project puts Australia in the spotlight as an innovator in online technology, and it is intended to provide a model for future collaborative efforts within APEC.

"The project will stimulate and enhance the exchange of ideas and services in infrastructure development, ITT, medical education and training.

"Interest in the project has already been expressed by health, distance education and telecommunications experts from Australia, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Chile, Canada, Thailand and the United States of America."

Representatives from each economy are attending the first workshop which will be convened by the first Australian Professor of Telemedicine, Professor Malcolm McKinnon, at the Hyatt in Adelaide on 25 February 1998.

The Commonwealth Department of Communications and the Arts will help drive the project with the aim of accelerating technology transfer to rural and developing areas, as well as to developing economies within the region.

Media Contact:

Terry O'Connor, Minister's Office, 02 6277 7480

Anne McLennan, Interactive Health Online, 08 8226 6242

Minister's Website: http://www.richardalston.dca.gov.au

Interactive Health Online website http://www.hol.com.au