According to recent UK guidelines on the management of lung cancer, all cases should be reviewed prospectively by a lung cancer multidisciplinary team (MDT) and a thoracic surgeon should be readily available to liaise with the MDT. However, there is a shortage of thoracic surgeons in the UK. Over a one-year period, 28 MDT meetings were held at a district general hospital in Southend, at which 62 patients were presented to a tertiary cardiothoracic centre in London, 80 km away, via ISDN videoconferencing at 384 kbit/s. The annual resection rate increased by 30% following the introduction of the telemedicine MDTmeetings, and the mean time from first being seen in the clinic to surgery was reduced from 69 to 54 days.We estimate that the telemedicine meetings saved over three working weeks of thoracic surgical time during the year.
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