Cardiac picture archiving and communication systems and telecardiology - technologies awaiting adoption

  • Crowe B
  • Hailey D
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Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures associated with cardiology are
heavily supported by diagnostic imaging technology. The management of
such images, including radiographs, echocardiography examinations and
cardiac angiography studies, requires a suitable means of handling the
data. A number of manufacturers are now offering picture archiving and
communication systems (PACS) and telecardiology options. These could
greatly improve the efficiency of data management for cardiac
examinations, including linkage to radiology and hospital information
systems and electronic patient records. A barrier to the implementation
of cardiac PACS has been the relatively high capital cost. There have
also been technical difficulties in implementing a suitable interface.
Historical problems have included `turf wars' between different
specialist groups and a reluctance to shift from well established
practice patterns. Early cooperative work between radiologists and
cardiologists in the development of coronary arteriography has been
replaced by contention between cardiologists, radiologists and vascular
surgeons, often driven by economic considerations rather than the needs
of the patient. At this stage, cardiac PACS and telecardiology have
great potential for improving the coordinated care of cardiac patients
in Australia.

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  • B Crowe

  • D Hailey

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