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Progress of Digital Radiology in Latvia

Progress of Digital Radiology in Latvia

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Progress of Digital Radiology in Latvia

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  1. Progress of Digital Radiology in Latvia Baltic IT&T 2005

  2. Diagnostic Radiology • Diagnostic modalities include • radiography • computed tomography (CT) • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) • ultrasound (US) • nuclear medicine • Each of these modalities has strengths and limitations which dictate use of different technical solutions migrating towards digital radiology

  3. Computers and Networking for Radiology • Hospital information system (HIS) tracks the patient throughout the hospital stay and is text based • Radiology information system (RIS) tracks the examination through the department of radiology and is also text based • Picture archiving and communication system (PACS) contains all the image-based information in the department of radiology. • Information systems use protocols to transfer data: • Health Level 7 (HL-7) is a text-based information protocol typically used by the HIS and RIS. • The Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standard is an image-based information protocol typically used by PACS and digital imaging modalities.

  4. Digital Imaging for Hospital

  5. Digital Radiography Operation

  6. Main advantages of Digital Radiology • Information can be shared withmultiple users at the same time regardless their location • Flexible scheduling of work for radiologists • Fast delivery of results of examinations • Fast and broad availability of results of past examinations • Decreased number of rejected films and unnecessary repeated examinations

  7. Components of Digital Radiology in Latvia at present time • Hardware equipment with DICOMM interfaces and necessary software installed • Digital X-Ray – 3 and 5 more are planned • US - unknown • CT – 32 • MRI – 3

  8. Preconditions for Digital Imaging • Medical and technicalprofessionals skilled and fluent not only in medicine but also in information and communication technologies • Availability of computers, software and network for every medical professionals • Availability of digital radiological equipment • Willingness to cooperate between different medical institutions at local, regional, national and international scale

  9. Components of Digital Radiology in Latvia at present time • Software and workstations for radiologists • Software and workstations for doctors • Picture archiving and communication system (PACS) • Storage capacityfor imaging • approximately 50 MB per examination • 500 GB per 100 000 examinations • High speed networking

  10. Main Obstacles Towards Digital Radiology • Computer skills can be learnt, fluency comes only with time and practice • Digital radiology is more expensive than analogue and much more expensive than radiology in Latviatoday. But that’s the radiology of today! • The whole mindset of medical professionals (administrative, medical, technical) has to be changed

  11. Application of Digital Radiology Problem 1: Today doctors in small hospitals are reluctant to send patients to regional medical centres therefore they loose professional experience Solution : Digital Radiology can help to increase level of cooperation, knowledge and experience sharing between doctors

  12. Application of Digital Radiology Problem 2: Lack of radiologists and radiology assistants (almost no technical personal in hospitals) Solution : Digital Radiology can help to optimize the use of available human resources by flexible distribution of medical examinations for analysesby network of digital imaging

  13. Application of Digital Radiology Problem 3: Steep increase of number of examinations Solution : Digital Radiology can help to organize network of digital equipment to increase the capacity of radiology department

  14. Application of Digital Radiology Problem 4: Shortage of financial resources available Solution : Digital Radiology is expensive, but high capacity regional centres can keep costs per examination at reasonable levels

  15. What happens today? • Radiology become much more expensive these days: • minimization of patients exposure to x-rays, • dose accounting, • new standards of examinations change requirements for equipment being used and its service levels • migration of professionals staff towards professions with higher salaries • Radiology will become extinct in small hospitals during next few years

  16. Where that leads? • Load of examinations will radically increase in regional and local hospitals • Delayed examinations will decrease the quality of treatment • State financed programs will be used and abused, but medical services will become more expensive and the availability of examinations will decreased

  17. Coordinated Migration or (R)evolution? • We can keep waiting for problems to accumulate and then avalanche of the problems • Coordinated action at national level: • Increase necessary skills for administrative, medical and technical professionals involved, include the digital radiology in education programs • Include the digital radiology in structural plan forhealhtcare

  18. Thank You for Your attention!