Memorias del Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud
versão On-line ISSN 1812-9528
GALVAN, P; CABRAL, MB e CANE, V. Implementation of a Telemedicine/Telehealth system at the Institute of Research in Health Sciences (IICS). Pilot Study. Mem. Inst. Investig. Cienc. Salud [online]. 2008, vol.6, n.1, pp.20-27. ISSN 1812-9528.
The reform process of the health area, oriented towards greater equity in service supply, increased concern about the effectiveness and usefulness of health technologies, have contributed to place telemedicine as a tool for improving health care for remote populations without access to specialists in industrialized countries and developing ones. This observational and descriptive study conducted by the Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Department, with the support of the Informatics Division of the IICS and the National Centre of Computing (CNC) to get and analyze the outcome of the images and information of 294 patients transmitted by the units of diagnostic ultrasound, nuclear medicine and electrocardiography included in the pilot project. Eighty six percent were from the Nuclear Medicine service (scintigraphic) and the remaining group was distributed among electrocardiographic imaging and ultrasound studies. According to the studied organ or system, 49% corresponded to thyroid scintigraphy, 22% to bone scans and the others to renogram by radio nucleoid techniques, liver gammagraphy, thyroid and abdominal ultrasound. The time consumed during the entire process, starting with the patient's admission up to the final medical report, ranged from an average of 107 to 123 minutes depending on the type of study. Various difficulties were identified: human resources (training of technical assistants, reluctance to fully accept the telediagnosis as a new tool) and technology (identify the available signals, low-speed of the internal network and models referring to standalone application or Web). The results obtained through this pilot study are vital for the formulation of practical and viable methodologies for the implementation of a telemedicine system that would help to improve substantially the response capacity of local health centers in remote and scattered populations and a more effective exchange of clinical, administrative and staff training information. This pilot study based on the available technologies, our experiences and those from other countries show a practical application of Telemedicine/Telehealth. However, before recommending their widespread use, it should be conducted a thorough and detailed study of health systems, implementation and sustainability costs of the system according to current methodologies.
Palavras-chave : Telemedicine; Telehealth; Tele-education; Telecare; Health Telematics.