Teleradiography Computer Technology and Medicine Revolutionary Combination Term Paper

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Teleradiography

COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY and MEDICINE

Revolutionary Combination

The recent fusion of state-of-the-art computer technology and medicine, called teleradiography, has excited radiologists for its capabilities. The 2002 Akmerican Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary describes teleradiography or teleroentgenography as a procedure, which is performed with the tube held approximately 6 feet from the body and then sent to a distant site.

The choice of hardware depends on size and speed of the image and licensure if it will be sent from one State to another. On the other hand, the major criteria for the choice of a printer are cost, output resolution, paper requirements, and gray scale. For accurate output resolution, a 600 dos per inch printer should produce an image at approximately 12 1p/mm. For the purpose, some printers need special paper. Cost is also an important criterion when the cost/benefit ratio of the use of the radiographic digital imaging system is considered. And the printer should produce an image with 28 or 256 shades of gray.

Through teleradiography, physicians can use computer networks to share images among themselves or with students within an area. This enables them to achieve the highest possible level of collaboration in conducting a diagnosis or determining treatment. This is done by digitizing data from magnetic resonance imaging or MRI, CAT scans and some digital x-ray machines. For example, a radiologist can transmit x-ray images of fractures to a practitioner anywhere in the world. All that teleradiography requires is a standard UNIX terminal, which is connected to the internet.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Teleradiography Computer Technology and Medicine Revolutionary Combination Assignment

Unified Medical Systems is a Brookline company that creates and uses digital images. The use of teleradiography at United Medical has been limited but its founder, Dr. Julius Pearlman, has encouraged more doctors to use it. He says he and those who do receive and send medical images all over the world right at home. Other area hospitals have responded. Radiologists at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, for example, have been experimenting with network-linked magnetic resonance imaging and CAT scans. Director Ethan F. Fener of the radiology information systems said that 30% of the hospital's almost 2000,000 radiology exams were digital. He also said that almost all the exams are entered into computer file servers and are available for sending throughout the department, the hospital and the medical community. CAT scans are transferred through the network to Dana Farber Cancer Institute for radiation therapy planning. The therapy is then sent back for implementation.

But some hospitals hesitate to use it because of certain disadvantages, such as cost and speed. Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, for example, do picture archiving of digital images in large quantities instead of using teleradiography. Other doctors encounter difficulties with computer terminals. Some computer screens have limited space, intensity and brightness. Director Fener also finds the use of teleradiography expensive in the face of overwhelming demand. Dr. Pearlman, however, believes that the advantages in using the procedure outweigh the disadvantages and justify the cost. It integrates information from different images and allows the user to view them through different texture and intensity ranges, which are otherwise invisible. Director Fener foresees that images will be more widely accessible to physicians and that data conveyed by teleradiography will be used for analysis, therapy and intervention.

Telemedicine and Teleradiography

Health care professionals who work in distant areas and others who work under conditions of isolation can now take advantage of Telemedicine in performing their tasks. Telemedicine has been defined as any medical activity, which utilizes telecommunications. Its most common techniques include telephones, fax machines and the basic computer skills. Its applications cover and include direct patient services, supervision, education and research. Teleradiography or teleroentgenography is considered the most established of the new technologies.

Computers have been used to create and examine images and translate CT scans, sonograms, magnetic resonance images and even some x-ray images. This has enabled the rotation, enlargement and comparison among images. Radiography develops the image and places it into the digitizer. The digitizer is, in turn, connected through a computer to a telephone line. The image is sent to a remote computer, which translates the digital file into a diagnostic x-ray image. Using this series of equipment, a technician from one end can shoot the film and a radiologist at a distance on the other end can receive and view it almost simultaneously and make a diagnosis right there and then. This new technology allows the primary care provider in remote areas to make needed consultations, hence improve the delivery of patient care.

Teleradiography in the Field of Dentistry

Teleradiography has been used in fields, such as dentistry, cardiology and disease management. In the dental field, conventional radiographic imaging has used silver halide emulsion technology for its low cost and excellent image quality. In the last decade, dental diagnosis and treatment underwent dramatic changes in quality with the introduction and use of computer-related technology. New radiographic techniques hold the promise of expanding conventional or traditional imaging. One of these is direct digital radiography or DDR. Recent surveys said that more than 70% of practicing dentists in the next 3 to 5 years would want to obtain a digital film-less radiography system. DDR is considered the fastest growing area in dental radiology. It has revolutionized imaging technology and thus substantially affected clinical dental practice by improving dental capabilities. DDR has been around since 1987. It has been creating images in digital form with the use of an intra-oral sensor instead of the conventional film. The most commonly used sensor is the charge-coupled device or CCD. A CCD consists of an x-ray or light-sensitive semiconductors on a silicon chip. It represents myriads of x-ray or light-sensitive pixels. Each pixel or picture element is a small square where electrons are produced or light protons are deposited. Charge coupling is the sequential transfer of accumulated light or x-ray protons from one electron well and ultimately to a read-out amplifier. The CCD is directly connected to the image-capture electronics of a personal computer through a small cable. It requires an x-ray machine to produce ionizing radiation, an intra-oral sensor containing a chip to record the signal and then transmit it to the computer, and the computer itself. The computer must have a monitor to digitize or process that signal and then display the image on its monitor. The computer keeps the information in the hard drive or removable medium for archiving. There is a computer software that enhances, stores, and transmits images electronically to distant locations. This is technically what teleradiography is. The printer is an optional component, which produces a permanent record of the displayed image.

DDR systems have a number of advantages. They immediately display the image during darkroom processing without needing to wait. The image can be manipulated by means of contrast enhancement and gray-scale reversal modes. It relieves the patient from additional radiation doses. It makes film, darkroom, processors, processing chemicals, film mounts and film unnecessary. It thus reduces the cost of supplies, such as film, film mounts, processing chemicals, processor maintenance, repairs and replacement. It also saves on space, which must otherwise be taken up by a darkroom or processor with a daylight loader. It turns into a patient education tool. It also saves on time otherwise used up by diagnostic imaging during endodontic procedures. It is more environment-friendly. Storing and retrieval of images are easy. It is capable of storing backup database. It is also capable of transmitting images via a modem. Neither silver recycling nor film packet disposal is necessary. Film duplication is easily performed. Radiographs are difficult to lose. Images can also be enhanced for diagnosis and online clinical review. On the other hand, the disadvantages of the systems are high initial cost, fragile sensor, more exposures to cover the same region with a smaller sensor, less resolution, and incompatible software among existing manufacturers.

Digital radiography in the dental field is clearly the wave of the future. DDR systems have lastingly altered dental practice by increasing and improving diagnostic capabilities in treating dental diseases. The technology has been gaining worldwide acceptance among clinical practitioners, including the military. Its utility and application have so broadened that it could replace film-based imaging someday. Most experts agree that film-less radiology would become the "standard of care" in the U.S. The U.S. Air Force medical service has begun looking into the possibility of changing from traditional film-based radiography to digital radiography in the battlefield for a "paperless office." Among the issues to contend with are equipment cost, reliability, quality of images, electronic record keeping and transmission, the ease of use, and permanent archiving.

Broader Use of Teleradiography Needed for Accurate CT Scan Reading

Schriger and associates tested and evaluated three groups of physicians' accuracy in interpreting cranial CT scans to determine thrombolytic therapy in patients with acute stroke. The three groups consisted of radiologists, neurologists and emergency physicians. The authors concluded that many of the physicians who routinely performed the task did not have the needed skills to recognize hemorrhage on cranial CT scans.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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