Since the corona outbreak, the telemedicine industry is in focus due to it’s added advantage
of keeping healthy people away from the infected ones in the times when the world needs
care and support. One of the major branches of telemedicine, Teleradiology has something
important to do with Corona Virus.
How Radiology and Corona Virus are related?
It all started in Dec 2019 when some patients in Wuhan city, China were found with
febrile illness of unidentified origin. When bronchoalveolar washing was done, it was found
that it is the pulmonary syndrome and was named as Corona Virus (COVID19). The
coronavirus has similar symptoms as previously reported pulmonary syndromes such as
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS – 2003) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
(MERS – 2012).
So, Imaging plays an important role in diagnostic work, to see how the disease is progressing
and follow up. There are constant efforts being made to identify the imaging features of
COVID19 but as the information is very limited, no luck in getting the exact ones. As it
resembles much with SARS and MERS, radiologists need to gear up as it’s clinical features
may get treated from past pulmonary syndromes. Because of this imaging spectrum of
Coronavirus, it is related to radiology.
How teleradiology is at advantage in the times of COVID’19?
The definitive test for COVID19 symptoms showing the individual is a CT scan. If symptoms
appear on these images, it shows which individual needs the treatment. Investigators found
in chest CT scans that the individuals who tested positive had the number of lesions. CT scan
results also showed other symptoms like H&N9 pneumonia, H1N1 virus infection, SARS, etc
for different individuals.
Teleradiology is a transmission of radiological images from one location to another for the
purpose of study and research with other radiologists. It needs tools like the internet, LAN,
WAN and specialized software etc. So, in times of medical emergencies like the Coronavirus
outbreak, radiological images can be sent to various locations for studies and research.
As coronavirus is generating the maximum number of scans and it becomes difficult for
hospital staff to analyze and study all the images with a limited number of radiologists.
Therefore, they send these images to distant radiologists via teleradiology. This outsourcing
helps to reduce the burnout of existing staff at the hospital. At the same time, this stops the
spread of coronavirus by NOT sending a patient to a different location for any further
diagnosis. It is beneficial for everyone as teleradiology connects the patients and skilled
radiologist at the times of short supply.
Considering a different time zone, it also keeps the overnight work going on. The
radiologists get proper rest as they can outsource the radiologists from different time zones