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The first European Telemedicine Conference

The first European Telemedicine Conference (2013-11-04)

On October 29-30, the prestigious Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh, Scotland, hosted the first European Telemedicine Conference. It was attended by 350 participants from 23 European countries as well as the U.S., South Korea and Hong Kong. 62 conference participants, from countries such as Scotland, Denmark, Spain and the United States, made presentations. In these countries telemedicine already plays a significant role in providing health care services to their population. Central and Eastern European countries were given the opportunity to present two reports. One of them by Baltic RAD’s director Dr. Gediminas Kostkevičius.

Contrary to speakers whose point of view emphasized that any innovation, before its deployment in health care, must be properly tested and verified for both functionality and safety to human health, G. Kostkevičius asked why it is not applicable to existing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. For example, teleradiology (remote diagnostic radiology) services opponents repeatedly stress that the provision of teleradiology services does not provide a mechanism to assess the quality of a radiologist’s medical work. But what quality control instrument ensures a health facility that has one or two radiologists: Do they control each other when one specializes in X-ray and other ultrasound? What is the quality of diagnostic radiology where the radiologist writes an average of 15,000 examinations per year, and can dedicate an average of 6 minutes of work time for one study, assuming no other tests or work are assigned.

Teleradiology, on the other hand, helps equalize radiologist workloads, allows them to apply the benefits of their specialization and provides access to expert opinions, not only hospitals, but directly to patients as well. This ensures effective and independent medical audit mechanisms to assess the quality of diagnostic radiology.

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