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Title Early experience using telemedicine for neonatal surgical consultations
Author(s) Robie DK, Naulty CM, Parry RL, Motta C, Darling B, Micheals M, Poropatich RK, Gomez ER
Source J Pediatr Surg, Vol. 33, No. 7, Pages 1172-1176
Publication Date July 1998
Abstract BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Telemedicine affords the opportunity to extend the presence of surgical evaluation to centers without an on-site pediatric surgeon. However, concern for cost, accuracy of diagnosis, and physician acceptance have limited its use. METHODS: Using a low-cost, desktop computer-based system, this study was designed to test the effectiveness of telemedicine in neonatal surgical consultation. RESULTS: Early experience with six video-teleconference (VTC) and six store-and-forward consultations are presented. Diagnosis was established accurately in all cases. With the three intestinal cases (jejunal atresia, duplication cyst, and r/o malrotation), diagnostic studies were guided by the images transmitted with the consult. Earlier care could be implemented in other cases. Technical problems were encountered primarily with the VTC modality, which also proved more consuming of physician time. CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine was used successfully in each case and proved accurate in diagnosis and guiding further evaluation. This is the first report of the use of telemedicine for surgical consultation in the intensive care nursery.

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