An effective, integrated telemedicine system has been developed that allows (a) teleconsultation between local primary health care providers (primary care physicians and general radiologists) and remote imaging subspecialists and (b) active patient participation related to his or her medical condition and patient education. The initial stage of system development was a traditional teleradiology consultation service between general radiologists and specialists; this established system was expanded to include primary care physicians and patients. The system was developed by using a well-defined process model, resulting in three integrated modules: a patient module, a primary health care provider module, and a specialist module. A middle agent layer enables tailoring and customization of the modules for each specific user type. Implementation by using Java and the Common Object Request Broker Architecture standard facilitates platform independence and interoperability. The system supports (a) teleconsultation between a local primary health care provider and an imaging subspecialist regardless of geographic location and (b) patient education and online scheduling. The developed system can potentially form a foundation for an enterprise-wide health care delivery system. In such a system, the role of radiologist specialists is enhanced from that of a diagnostician to the management of a patient’s process of care.
Dionisio JDN, Taira RK, Sinha US, Johnson DB, Dai BY, Tashima GH, Blythe S, Johnson R, Kangarloo H. “Teleradiology as a Foundation for an Enterprise-Wide Health Care Delivery System.” Radiographics 20(4):1137-1150, July-August 2000. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1148/radiographics.20.4.g00jl321137