Pacific Medical Technology Symposium (1998)
Aug. 17, 1998 to Aug. 20, 1998
Donna S. Cunningham , Science Applications International Corporation
The world stands on the brink of a new millenium and the media are filled with dire warnings of the havoc about to be wreaked on modern civilization when technology encounters the year 2000. Technology and the media are late-twentieth century developments, but man has been dealing with the relativity of time since pre-history, although standardization of time has been a recent development. Long after Hawaiians used astronomy to navigate their canoes over vast distances, the calendar used by most Europeans was adjusted for errors by Pope Gregory, who foresaw that Easter, a date that was established astronomically, was drifting closer to the fixed date of Christmas. Until the 1860s, time zones were a local phenomenon, but with the advent of trains, which made traveling hundreds of miles in a day possible, standardization of time zones became a necessity. In 1884, the nation of Hawaii was one of the countries that attended the International Meridian Conference in Washington D.C. that established standard time reckoning throughout the world. Nowhere on earth is the relativity of time more apparent than in the Pacific. As the PacMedNet project discovered, when computer-based technology encounters the International Dateline and the many time zones that make up the Pacific region, confusion can result. This paper will discuss the time as it relates to the Pacific, PacMedNet's experience with time and technology, and strategies for tele-medicine that can minimize this confusion..
D. S. Cunningham, "Lessons Learned from the Year 1K: Meeting the Challenge of Time in the Pacific," Pacific Medical Technology Symposium(PACMEDTEK), Honolulu, Hawaii, 1998, pp. 218.