A medical link between local maternity hospitals and a tertiary center using telediagnosis with fetal cardiac ultrasound image transmission.

Information and communication technology has been widely applied to various fields, including clinical medicine. We report here a telediagnosis system using ultrasound image transmission. The effect of telediagnosis, using a medical link between local maternity hospitals and our children's medical center, was verified. The number of fetal telediagnosis for cardiac disease, and cases referred to a perinatal care center and emergent transportation of neonates with congenital heart disease from maternity hospitals, were calculated based on the hospital records. The percentage of patients found to have heart disease was compared between out-patient clinic and telediagnosis cases. Telediagnosis increased, allowing maternity hospital staff to obtain support easily from a specialist when making a diagnosis. Many severe cases were transferred to tertiary centers with the correct diagnosis; consequently, the number of emergent transportations of neonates with severe cardiac anomalies continued to below. Telediagnosis was also useful as an educational tool for maternity hospital staff, who improved their skills during conversations with a specialist. Unlike in the outpatient clinic, consultation by telediagnosis was requested even for cases of mild abnormalities, and the number of false-positives increased, while many cardiac anomalies were found in the early stage. Furthermore, telediagnosis was helpful for pregnant women requiring bed rest, and also had the advantage of allowing a doctor to be able to talk with parents. Establishing a fetal telediagnosis system is a useful strategy to improve neonatal care through a medical link between local maternity hospitals and a tertiary center.
AuthorsTakashi Hishitani, Yoshitaka Fujimoto, Yukinori Saito, Kenji Sugamoto, Kenji Hoshino, Kiyoshi Ogawa
JournalPediatric cardiology (Pediatr Cardiol) Vol. 35 Issue 4 Pg. 652-7 (Apr 2014) ISSN: 1432-1971 [Electronic] United States
PMID24259010 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Multicenter Study, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Echocardiography (methods, utilization)
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases (ultrasonography)
  • Fetal Heart (ultrasonography)
  • Heart Defects, Congenital (ultrasonography)
  • Hospitals, Maternity (statistics & numerical data)
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Japan
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Pregnancy
  • Remote Consultation (methods, utilization)
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tertiary Care Centers (statistics & numerical data)
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal (methods, utilization)
  • Young Adult

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