Global Telemedix Inc., a major industry provider in Web-enabled telemedicine and e-Health care, has launched TeleConsult 3.0 software, a powerful information and transaction system which leverages the power of the Internet, allowing health providers to extend medical care to patients. Using TeleConsult software, primary care physicians can order specialist referrals as well as ancillary department requests, which can be completed electronically, eliminating numerous phone calls, faxes, and written notes. TeleConsult not only supports text-based administrative transactions but equally incorporates unique technologies for capturing, transmitting, and collaborating with large, multimedia, clinical data over a private network or the Internet.
With TeleConsult, still images, video clips, stethoscope clips, and audio clips can be captured, stored, and reviewed along with traditional text-based medical information. The work flow also handles native DICOM 3.0 studies. The intersection of the Internet and telemedicine implies that each person, anywhere, using a simple Web browser, can have access to quality in medicine, as stated by William Kazman, who is president and CEO of Global Telemedix. TeleConsult is bringing real e-Health care to physicians, providing them with high-quality clinical data where and when they need it, improving care delivery through connectivity.
Global Telemedix introduces a process-orientation and a work flow-based approach to the health care community, according to Chris Pavlic, analyst at Aberdeen Research, who continues that TeleConsult allows physicians to not only improve information management but be more proactive in delivering patient care. TeleConsult software indeed enables care providers to share multimedia medical information efficiently over any distance. As such, the primary care physician is responsible for patient office visits, requesting and managing department orders, as well as requesting and managing specialist referrals.
When the laboratory work or referral is complete, the primary care physician is notified and can access the database to review the results. The primary care physician maintains control over the patient records and initiates all requests. In turn, department technicians are responsible for completing the lab work, including advanced medical imaging. The technician accesses the database to view a list of pending lab work, and then completes the request, capturing results and entering any additional information.
The specialist is notified when a primary care physician requests a referral. The specialist accesses the database through his or her consultation case list, reviews the patient case information and lab results, and then completes the consultation. After the consultation is complete, the report is entered into the patient's record, and the request is removed from the specialist's consultation case list.
Global Telemedix believes that the real possibilities for this type of health care connectivity are enabled when distributed multimedia data warehousing interfaces with health care information systems, thereby allowing a distance-enabled multimedia medical record, with electronic specialist referrals and lab transactions. In this regard, TeleConsult 3.0 leverages the power of the Internet in order to deliver clinical medical information over any distance for increased communication efficiency. Patients will benefit from efficient, high-content communications among the care providers, and from the ability to aggregate patient transaction data, such as diagnoses, procedures, lab results, and specialist referrals.
Instead of relying on multiple phone calls and faxes, exchanges of paper medical records, and unnecessary patient transports, the care providers are able to access information on the Web and create electronic health care transactions. A patient-centric record is generated including text-based information, audio, and images. The file contains the following items:
- Encounter information, such as date of visit, presenting problems, symptoms, progress notes
- Protocol information related to the patient's presenting problem
- Information about images
- Preview thumbnails of all images. Selecting an image will launch TeleConsult image/video/DICOM/stethoscope client software for viewing and collaboration.
Security and patient record confidentiality is enforced by utilizing password-protected authentication and restricted database access based on roles. In addition, TeleConsult uses Secure Channel Services (SCS) which supports the standard security protocol Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). These advanced software technologies permit a high level of security, which involves endpoint authentication, message encryption, as well as message authentication. Additionally, multimedia medical record information is captured along with traditional text-based information in a single patient record.
The TeleConsult multimedia applications enable still images, video clips, audio clips, DICOM studies, and stethoscope clips to be entered into a multimedia, patient-centric database. The system includes features such as:
- Acceptance of still images from TWAIN-compliant sources, including a wide variety of medical imaging devices. TeleConsult likewise accepts still images from video devices, scanned photos, slides, digital cameras, CD-ROM.
- Thumbnails of all captured images are displayed on lab forms for quick review/preview.
- Image annotations including text, lines, circles, boxes, arrows, highlighter, and audio.
- Image manipulation: pan, zoom, rotate, contrast, brightness, re-size, smooth, sharpen, crop.
- Image Collaboration over a TCP/IP connection and collaboration with multiple users, with full annotation capability.
Global Telemedix was founded in 1995 and forms an e-Health care software company, dedicated to improving health care access and quality through advanced communications and information technology. Global Telemedix develops and markets TeleConsult software, a powerful information and transaction platform that leverages the power of the Internet to enable care providers to extend time-transparent and distance-transparent medical care to patients. The company's unique distributed multimedia database easily integrates into the health care information system, enabling caregivers to create a multimedia medical record that they can access anywhere, anytime.