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Teleradiology In NEJM

Is Telemedicine A New Phenomenon?

Care at a distance (also called in absentia care), is an old practice which was often conducted via post; there has been a long and successful history of in absentia health care, which - thanks to modern communication technology - has metamorphosed into what we know as modern telemedicine. In its early manifestations, African villagers used smoke signals to warn people to stay away from the village in case of serious disease. In the early 1900s, people living in remote areas in Australia used two-way radios, powered by a dynamo driven by a set of bicycle pedals, to communicate with the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia. [1]

In the NEJM, Dr. Robert Steinbrook takes a look at how Teleradiology has changed the field of Radiology:
The rapid expansion of teleradiology will benefit other physicians and their patients if it improves the quality, availability, and timeliness of interpretations. More specialty radiologists may be available to read more specialty studies. Many hospitals, including small and rural facilities, may be able to improve the quality of their radiology services. The flexibility with regard to hours and lifestyle may make radiology more attractive as a profession. Although its role within the United States appears to be limited, international teleradiology can link countries that have radiologists with those that lack them. [2,3]
2. N Engl J Med. 2007 Jul 5;357(1):5-7. The age of teleradiology.Steinbrook R.
Teleradiology In NEJM Reviewed by Sumer Sethi on Thursday, July 12, 2007 Rating: 5

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