Journal of Digital Imaging

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 253–257

Internet Consultations from a Remote Pacific Island: Impact of Digitized Radiologic Images on Referral Decisions

Authors

  • Jinha M. Park
    • Department of RadiologyTripler Army Medical Center
    • Present address: Department of RadiologyUCLA Medical Center
    • Department of RadiologyTripler Army Medical Center
    • Department of Radiology and Radiological SciencesUniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
    • Department of PediatricsUniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
    • Department of RadiologyTripler Army Medical Center
  • Stephen C. O’Connor
    • Department of RadiologyTripler Army Medical Center
    • Present address: Department of RadiologyBaystate Medical Center
  • Faheem Hussain
    • Department of RadiologyTripler Army Medical Center
    • Present address:Department of Radiology, Bldg 4-2817Womack Army Med Center
  • David Y. Oshiro
    • Information Management DivisionTripler Army Medical Center
  • Donald A. Person
    • Departments of Clinical Investigation and PediatricsTripler Army Medical Center
    • Department of PediatricsUniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10278-004-1022-6

Cite this article as:
Park, J.M., Ruess, L., O’Connor, S.C. et al. J Digit Imaging (2004) 17: 253. doi:10.1007/s10278-004-1022-6

Abstract

A study was carried out to determine whether digitized radiologic images added valuable information to Internet consultations from a remote Pacific Island. Chuuk State Hospital (Federated States of Micronesia) has limited film screen radiology, minimal ultrasound capability, and no radiologist. Providers initiate Web-based referrals for consultation or patient transfer. Digitized images (via low-cost digital camera or flatbed scanner) were uploaded to a Web site. Images were assessed for impact on referral decisions. A radiologist scored image quality and confidence (scale: 1–7). Of 97 referrals with images that were reviewed, 74 (76%) image sets were abnormal, 20 (20%) were normal, and 3 (4%) were indeterminate. Median scores were 4 for image quality and 5 for diagnostic confidence. In most cases with abnormal radiology (52/74, 70%), images were considered valuable. Radiologic images digitized with a low-cost camera or flatbed scanner provided valuable information for decision making in an Internet-based consultation and referral process from a remote, impoverished Pacific Island jurisdiction, despite relatively low image quality.

Keywords

Telemedicine teleradiology internet communications PACS image capture.

Copyright information

© SCAR (Society for Computer Applications in Radiology) 2004