"Most people have no idea what a tremendous impact radiology and telemedicine has on poor and remote regions of the world," said Rebecca Cornelius, M.D., professor of radiology, neuroradiology, department of radiology, University Hospital, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine.
Cornelius was one of the physicians on the panel and video presentation "Zero Footprint Radiology and Telemedicine Build a Platform for Sustainable Care." Imaging Technology News presented the panel at the SIIM 2010 Annual Meeting June 4 in Minneapolis.
The panelists how physicians based in the United States used teleradiology and telemedicine technology to treat patients located in a remote clinic in Honduras. The panelists made the case that this technology suite is the basis for sustainable health care outreach programs in the future.
The panel then showed a video illustrating how physicians and technicians equipped The Roy and Melanie Sanders Frontera Medical Center in Honduras with the digital imaging and informatics infrastructure.
Several providers donated the suite of imaging technology. The equipment included a telemedicine system and ultrasound probe from Global Media, VirtualPACS, a Web-based picture archiving and communication system (PACS) from MedWeb, MinXray provided a portable digital X-ray system and iCRco supplied the computed radiography (CR) unit.
In the video, Dr. Juan Vasquez gives a live demonstration of how the imaging suite quickly and seamlessly operates. Vasquez started by taking an X-ray image, processing and reviewing it on the CR, and uploading the data set to the PACS in under 10 minutes. The guest of honor, Honduran Minister of Health Arturo Bendaña, himself a trained physician, easily toggled through the streamlined digital workflow. Vasquez explained how the transition from film to digital would save the clinic huge costs on X-ray films.
Vasquez then examined a patient's thyroid gland with the ultrasound probe, which was hooked up to a personal computer. Next, he used a high-definition telemedicine camera to capture superficial anatomical images. Finally, he uploaded the images and consulted with physicians over Global Media's video-conferencing system.
Jeffrey E. Heck, M.D., executive director and founder of Shoulder to Shoulder, explained to onlookers this was a model for delivering high-tech care, including expert specialty consultations, to some of the most remote and isolated areas of the developing world.
"With the addition of this technology, poor people have access to the same set of services that any well-equipped health center in the United States has access to," Heck said.
The panelists included:
For more information on Shouler to Shoulder, please visit their web site: www.shouldertoshoulder.org
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