GlobalCastMD is Moving Virtual Education Forward


Mission and Overview
GlobalCastMD works to bring healthcare providers together from around the world to learn, discuss, and share ideas on current and cutting-edge concepts in medical practice through interactive, high-level, broadcasts that are streamed through the Internet in high definition. For the first time, physicians in large health centers, rural communities, and developing countries, can all communicate easily with other physicians and key opinion leaders from around the world in real time. GlobalCastMD (GCMD) chooses relevant topics in healthcare and then locates key opinion leaders to host these interactive broadcasts.  As new concepts and cutting-edge techniques are developed in healthcare, it typically takes years for this information to eventually be disseminated and incorporated into standard practice.   Now, this information can reach doctors around the world in seconds. 
The key element to GCMD’s format is the emphasis on interaction. The audience does not just sit and listen but participates in the discussion. Furthermore, all of the recorded broadcasts are immediately available online for healthcare providers to review even after the live event.  Recently, GCMD has put together interactive shows for patients, which gives them an opportunity to listen and talk to leading physicians from around the world.

Physician-directed content
We have been producing broadcasts for the last three years and have produced approximately 40 broadcasts. Topics have included:
Pediatric trauma, Adolescent Obesity, Pediatric oncology, Pediatric colorectal, Fetal surgery, Bladder cancer (for patients), Gynecology (treatment of fibroids), Pain management, and many more.
In fact, GCMD is working with the leading Children's Hospitals of the country to develop a unified curriculum that all pediatric surgical trainees will use for education.
Besides providing current information on the standards of care in medicine, this infrastructure provides a forum for networking among healthcare providers around the world. Surgeons in Nigeria can meet and have conversations with surgeons in Uruguay or Japan and compare their current methods of practicing medicine.

Patient-directed content
Another facet of GlobalcastMD is that we now have the capability for patients to interact with key opinion leaders in healthcare to better understand their disease and ask questions to the leading physicians. 

Technology
In order to create this high-level interactive broadcast, we have worked with technology and broadcast experts from NBC and other organizations to build an infrastructure that brings together many different technologies.  Our productions are filmed in a studio with live hosts while half of the faculty stream-in virtually. This is then fed through a high-definition broadcast system which also provides high fidelity sound. Audience members can chat, call-in to ask questions, participate in polling, watch video demonstrations, observe live surgery, and much more.

Business Model
GCMD is financially supported by industry sponsorship and exhibitors.  Most of our live events have associated virtual exhibit halls with two-dimensional booths that the audience can visit during the breaks. Within these booths, participants can talk to booth representatives, download documents, and watch videos.  Funding also comes from sponsoring hospitals or foundations that use our medium to promote the expertise at their institution.  For most shows however, we do still charge registration fees.  Albeit, much lower than what would be paid while attending a bricks and mortar symposium.

Humanitarianism
GCMD exists to improve the health care of patients worldwide. This includes those patients that are cared for in economically impoverished countries.  For that reason we make it our policy to waive the cost of registration based only on an “ask” policy; if someone asks for the registration to be waived, we will waive it.  Ultimately, our goal is to make this free for all participants if we can find enough alternative funding. 
Another mission of GCMD is to bring physicians together who may not ordinarily be able to communicate. For example, we are working with the Ministry of Health in Palestine to develop a series of interactive broadcasts through the Middle East.  Potentially, surgeons from Israel, the West Bank, and maybe even the Gaza Strip may be able to share ideas without concern of political ramifications.
                                                                                   
We also are working to develop community health education programs whereby we can educate high school students through strategically placed broadcast centers throughout the major cities where students from high schools all over the country can talk to each other and debates current issues in health care such as obesity, autism, or sports related injuries.
GCMD is quickly evolving into a much-needed resource to advance health care throughout the world by improving communication among healthcare providers as well as patients.