Teleradiology SolutionsMay 25, 2018 in
What is Teleradiology?
Telemedicine is used in a wide variety of medical specialities – from orthopaedics, to OB/GYN, to dermatology. But one of the most popular telemedicine niches is teleradiology.
Teleradiology involves transmitting a patient’s X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs from one site to another, usually to a radiologist based at a different location.
Before the internet age, teleradiology mostly involved consulting individual radiologists over the phone for emergent cases. With the advent of the internet, everything changed. Sending CT scans or MRIs digitally and securely became simple. Now, with the visual data and patient health record in front of them, the radiologist can provide an analysis, record it, and send it right back to the patient’s physician.
Teleradiology solutions have expanded rapidly in recent years as a way to address shortages of radiologists, especially sub-specialists, in remote or rural areas. For example, pediatric, musculoskeletal, and neuroradiologists are usually based in cities and only available during certain times of the day.
With teleradiology software, a technician at a small hospital or clinic could take a patient’s x-rays and then share with a physician based at another location for quick diagnosis. Having 24/7 access to a radiologist is especially important for emergent cases, when patients may need a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.
The demand for teleradiology solutions will only continue to grow in coming years as the amount of requested imaging procedures outpaces the number of available radiologists. Many teleradiology providers offer health systems access to a team of on-call radiology specialists, licensed for particular states. Healthcare providers can use these teleradiology solutions to gain constant access to teleradiology subspecialties they might not have on staff. This is incredibly valuable to small rural hospitals that may only have one (or no) full-time radiologist on staff.