13-18 October 2010, AATM leadership met with Ronald Merrell, M.D., F.A.C.S., within the framework of his four-day visit to Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University (RAU) in Yerevan, by the invitation of Professor A. Darbinyan, the Rector of RAU.
Dr. Merrell is Professor of Surgery, and Head of Medical Informatics & Technology Applications Consortium (MITAC) at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA; he is on the board of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), the Editor-in-Chief of Telemedicine & E-Health (the Official Journal of the American Telemedicine Association and the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth), and Editorial Board Member of International Journal of Bio-Sciences and Technology. Dr. Merrell is a legendary visionary, a world-renowned expert with enormous experience in supporting TM initiatives throughout the globe, and one of the founders of contemporary Telemedicine. He is also a co-founder and vice-president of International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation (IVeH) – an organization with vast experience in establishing nationwide TM networks, most recently in Albania. Dr. Merrell was among those who pioneered Telemedicine in Armenia through the NASA-initiated Space Bridge program after the earthquake of 1988.
He has established successful programs in industry and USA government in the field of informatics research and development while continuing his interest and participation in related international programs in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Greece, Egypt, Brazil, Pakistan, Kosovo, Romania and Ecuador. His innovative work in telemedicine includes use of Internet telemedicine, use of Internet for intra-operative consultation and in tele-anesthesia. He has over 300 publications and serves on the editorial boards of several major surgical journals. During his visit to the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University Dr.Merrell was awarded the title of Honorary Doctor of RAU.
During the official part of the meeting Dr G. Chaltikyan, President of AATM, gave a presentation, introducing the current state of the field of Telemedicine and eHealth in Armenia, as well as the AATM’s vision, mission and objectives, past achievements and prospective projects, which caused high appreciation of the audience. Dr. Merrell expressed his explicit support and willingness to provide AATM with maximal possible expert assistance, both personally and via organizations that he represents, for successful realization of Telemedicine and eHealth in Armenia.
The event also included extensive social program, within which the guests of honor – Dr. Merrell and Mrs. Marsha Merrell visited Lake Sevan and the seat of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Edjmiadzin.