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Teleradiology is the transmission of radiological patient images including x-rays, CT's, and MRI's. These images are transmitted for the purpose of interpretation and/or consultation. Imaging procedures are growing 15% annually against an increase of 2% in the Radiologist population.
Radiologists do not actually have to be at the same location as the patient. This becomes important when a sub-specialist like an MRI Radiologist, Neuroradiologist, Pediatric Radiologist, or Musculoskeletal Radiologist is needed. These professionals are generally located in large metropolitan areas and only work during the day. Teleradiology allows for trained specialists to be available 24/7.
Teleradiology uses standard network technologies including the Internet, telephone lines, WAN, and LAN. Special software transmits the images and allow the Radiologist to analyze hundreds of images for a given study. Technologies like advanced graphics processing, voice recognition, and image compression are often utilized in Teleradiology. Through Teleradiology, images can be sent to another part of the hospital and even to other locations worldwide.
Plane film images must be digitized in order to be reviewed. Digitization can be accomplished by video camera or scanner. There are two types of scanner laser and CCD (charge coupled device). Laser scanners are generally viewed as providing the best image quality while the CCD scanner is viewed as the best value for the money. AS technology has advanced there is almost no difference between the two technologies.
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