Southern Sweden integrates telemedicine as part of daily hospital life

Lund 21 January 1998 Between the hospitals of Southern Sweden, the transmission of digital x-ray images and the use of video conferencing are steadily being transformed into a daily routine, according to Telecom Idag. A majority of the Swedish county councils already reserve a part of their budget for investments in telemedicine technology.

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Between the hospitals of Southern Sweden, the transmission of digital x-ray images and the use of video conferencing are steadily being transformed into a daily routine, according to Telecom Idag. A majority of the Swedish county councils already reserve a part of their budget for investments in telemedicine technology.

Specialist clinics and other health care institutions are routinely applying new technologies to transfer medical data such as x-ray images and doctor's letters of introduction in digital format between hospitals. Little heart patients at G‰llivare in Northern Sweden receive special attention. The ultra sound images of their hearts are transmitted to the Centre of Infant Heart Surgery in Lund. On the basis of these data, specialists there decide if transportation to Lund is needed for the child to get the best treatment.

Thorax surgeons and x-ray doctors constantly communicate through video conferencing. The University and County hospitals have even scheduled a calendar of regular clinical video conferences. Both in normally planned and emergency cases, the Swedish physicians regard video conferencing as an appropriate tool to exchange medical advice, diagnosis and information.

In this way, a neuro surgeon is able to examine a head injury from a distance by comparing the x-ray images to the patient's reactions. Specialists in Lund can view on line images produced by a magnetic camera in Ystad. These examples clearly show that risky patient transports can be limited to the utmost necessity and that more people have quicker access to the proper specialist care they need.


Leslie Versweyveld

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