A Proposed Simple Teleradiology System Using a Digital Camera

Authors

1 B.sc Student of Diagnostic Radiology, Paramedical School, Kerman University of Medical Science, Kerman, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Radiology, Physiology Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Science, Kerman, Iran

3 Assistant Professor of Telemedicine, Medical Informatics Research Center, Institut of Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Science, Kerman, Iran

Abstract

Background & Aims: Teleradiology as an efficient way for avoiding unnecessary transfer of patients to
special medical centers requires the images with digital format. However, in some developing countries,
including Iran, imaging is being done using non digital devices. In such cases, changing analog images into
digital ones can solve the problem. The method which is nowadays used for digitalizing analog images is
using digitizers. Since in some regions digitizers are not available, using digital cameras as more accessible
and cost-effective devices is a good choice, provided that the reliability of digital cameras for providing
digital formats of radiographs would be confirmed.
Method: In this study, at first, 91 radiographs were randomly selected. These images were then shown to a
radiologist and he was asked to interpret them. Next, a digital image was produced from each radiograph
using a digital camera. After 40 days, these digital images were shown to the same radiologist and he was
asked to interpret them. The interpretations were then analyzed and compared using Kappa agreement
coefficient.
Results: The calculated Kappa agreement coefficient indicated a “Good” diagnostic agreement
(kappa=0.708, P <0.000) between diagnoses made by using radiographs and their digitalized images.
Conclusion: This study recommends that in cases of need for consultation with a specialist, capturing a
digital image of radiograph by a digital camera and sending it to the spesialist via an internet line can be a
reliable solution. This method can be used as a useful and cost-effective way of consultation with a
radiologist who is working in another medical center. 

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