In non-urban scenarios: rural areas or small cities, there is often a limited access to specialistic healthcare due to the inherent challenges associated with recruitment, retention, and access to healthcare professionals. Telemedicine is an economical and effective way to address this problem. In this research, we developed a framework for real-time communication during ultrasound examination that combines interaction via standard video conference protocols and basic AR functionalities (commercial) and a custom-developed application. The tele-ultrasonographic platform has been installed in a rural hospital in the Tuscan Apennines, and was tested on 12 patients. The study explores the utility of the system from the local and remote clinician perspectives. The results obtained provide valuable insight: the platform and the telemedicine paradigm can reduce the costs related to the necessity to move critical patients when there is a need for a specialist second opinion. Moreover, the possibility of having an expert guiding and commenting on the fly the diagnostic examination has also a didactic power, and thus allows the local less specialized clinicians to grow in competencies over time.

A tele-ultrasonographic platform to collect specialist second opinion in less specialized hospitals

Carbone, Marina
;
Ferrari, Vincenzo;Piazza, Roberta;Berchiolli, Raffaella
2018

Abstract

In non-urban scenarios: rural areas or small cities, there is often a limited access to specialistic healthcare due to the inherent challenges associated with recruitment, retention, and access to healthcare professionals. Telemedicine is an economical and effective way to address this problem. In this research, we developed a framework for real-time communication during ultrasound examination that combines interaction via standard video conference protocols and basic AR functionalities (commercial) and a custom-developed application. The tele-ultrasonographic platform has been installed in a rural hospital in the Tuscan Apennines, and was tested on 12 patients. The study explores the utility of the system from the local and remote clinician perspectives. The results obtained provide valuable insight: the platform and the telemedicine paradigm can reduce the costs related to the necessity to move critical patients when there is a need for a specialist second opinion. Moreover, the possibility of having an expert guiding and commenting on the fly the diagnostic examination has also a didactic power, and thus allows the local less specialized clinicians to grow in competencies over time.
Carbone, Marina; Ferrari, Vincenzo; Marconi, Michele; Piazza, Roberta; Del Corso, Andrea; Adami, Daniele; Lucchesi, Quintilia; Pagni, Valeria; Berchiolli, Raffaella
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/933835
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