Teleradiology is the practice where medical diagnostic images are obtained by a radiology technician in one hospital location and transmitted by electronic means to a remote location where qualified radiologists will examine and analyze and send back the results through the same means.
The concept of teleradiology actually started about fifty years ago as part of the development of telemedicine – an innovation in medical service delivery where patients can get medical help from qualified practitioners who are located far away from them, by accessing their services through electronic platform.
With the massive development in telecommunications technology over the decades, the practice of teleradiology has taken a boost. The coming of the Internet and other low-cost communications systems, including picture archiving and communications systems; improved data compression and transmission systems and procedures ; low-cost personal computer based workstations , all makes it possible to easily set up a teleradiology connection between distant locations.
The advent of teleradiology has provided significant benefits to healthcare delivery, not only in the U.S. but globally. Hospitals without qualified radiologists anywhere in the world, or whose radiologists are not physically available in an emergency situation can quickly transmit the patient’s film electronically to a remote center, which can be thousands of kilometers away where qualified radiologists will read it and send back the results.
Benefits of Teleradiology
Improvement of healthcare delivery: by providing the opportunity for people to access radiologic services from qualified practitioners even when such physicians are not physically present undoubtedly improves the healthcare service delivery.
Improvement of productivity and income of radiologists: with more clients coming from remote centers, the productivity and income of radiologists can be boosted.
Improvement in expertise: radiologists can enhance their expertise by employing teleradiology to share information and to support themselves professionally.
Interesting video that shows how telemedicine, including teleradiology works – a center in Indian receiving diagnostic images from hospitals across the world for examination and analysis.