The day after we published our June 7 cover story involving telemedicine for mental health clinical research trials, the New York Times affirmed the value of telepsychiatry. Our story, June 7, was on MedAvante, which assesses patients in mental health trials by setting up teleconferencing equipment at remote facilities and hiring psychiatrists to do interviews from a central location.

The Times story was on Dr. Sara Gibson, who talks to patients at a remote location in Arizona. “Psychiatry, especially in rural swaths of the nation that also often have deep social problems like poverty and drug abuse, is emerging as one of the most promising expressions of telemedicine. At least 18 states now pay for some telemedicine care under their Medicaid programs, and at least eight specifically include psychiatry,” wrote Kirk Johnson in the page one feature.

Gibson is quoted as saying that some of her patients with trauma, and those who have been abused, are “actually more comfortable” talking to her remote image. “I’m less intimidating at a distance.”

That issue of the Times also covered Kevin Chung, who has two companies on Washington Road — AI Technologies, which makes adhesives, epoxies, and thermal materials, and Avante Technology, which has Chung’s latest brainstorm, an electronic voting machine that provides a printed record (October 27, 2004).

The Times quotes Chung as saying that he has invested $5 million to $6 million in his invention. And though Avante has won a $1.8 million contract with Warren County — and is competing to get a contract with New York — the company will be showing red ink for a long time.

“Would I do it again, as an individual?” Chung was quoted as saying. “No. But we actually can now see the crack in the clouds, not only domestically but internationally as well. And we have a trump card — a patent.”

But Michael I. Shamos, Princeton ’68 and a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon, offered a discouraging opinion: “The only realistic way for a new company to succeed is to sell to a big company that has had experience selling into that community. It’s not like consumer products.”

Summer Fiction

The U.S. 1 Summer Fiction issue will not be published until Wednesday, July 26, But the deadline looms. Submit previously unpublished work in any of these categories: short story, humor, or poetry. Submissions should not exceed 2,000 words. (If longer, please indicate sections that may be deleted for space requirements).

All entries must be received no later than Wednesday, June 21, by mail to U.S. 1 Newspaper, 12 Roszel Road, Suite C-205, Princeton 08540; by fax to 609-452-0033, or as an E-mail message to (MS Word OK). Poetry, if E-mailed, should be accompanied by a hard copy. Authors retain all rights.

Preference will be given to central New Jersey writers whose work addresses a theme or place relevant to the greater Princeton business community. So be sure to include a brief biographical summary (including where you work) along with your name, address, and daytime phone number.

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