Distributed Acquisition of Digital Images in a Rural Setting

  • Charles E. Willis
  • Don F. Schomer
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 74)


Hospitals of less than 100 beds constitute over half of hospitals in the West South Central US. These hospitals can seldom afford to maintain a full-time radiologist on staff, and thus depend largely on intermittent interpretation by itinerant radiologists. Acquisition of images from these hospitals in digital form and transmission to a central location for remote diagnosis would provide continuous and emergent coverage with response times similar to large hospitals. Routine interpretation of digitized images from a group of small hospitals will generate a library of images that exceeds the number found in a large hospital. We are engaged in development and installation of a distributed network to collect and interpret images from 6 rural hospitals and 1 mobile CT facility. Design of the network requires assumptions regarding the volume of images produced by each hospital. Design decisions include spatial resolution necessary for diagnosis, data compression, transmission rate, mode of transmission, features of the radiologist’s workstation, and method of archival storage. A distributed acquisition system can be installed and operated in a cost-effective manner using existing technology. System design and cost are affected dramatically by transmission rate. The required transmission rate can be determined empirically with minimum capital expenditure.


Teleradiology Rural Radiology Telemedicine 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bryan, E.L., et al.: Communications’ Role in Rural Health Care, unpublished manuscript available from Vortech Data, Inc., Reston, VA.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barton, E., et al.: Influence on patient management of general practitioner direct access to radiological services. British Journal of Radiology. 60,893–896 (1987)PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gershon-Cohen, J. and Cooley, A.G.: Telognosis. Radiology. 55, 582–587 (1950)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Murphy, R.L.H, et al.: Microwave Transmission of Chest Roentgenograms. American Review of Respiratory Disease. 102,771–777(1970)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Simsky, B.S., et al.: Receiver Operator Characteristic Analysis of Chest Image Interpretation with Conventional, Laser-printed, and High Resolution Workstation Images. Radiology. 174,775–780 (1990)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Batnitzky, S., et al.: Teleradiology: An Assessment. Radiology 177,11–17 (1990)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lear, J.L., et al.: Ultra-High-Speed Teleradiology with ISDN Technology. Radiology. 171, 862–863 (1989)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Seely, G.W., et al.: Total Digital Radiology Department: Spatial Resolution Requirements. American Journal of Radiology. 148,421–426 (1987)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Arenson, R.L. et al.: The Digital Imaging Workstation. Radiology. 176,303–315(1990)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Cox, G.G., et al.:Chest Radiography: Comparison of High Resolution Digital Displays with Concentional and Digital Film. Radiology. 176, 771–776 (1990)PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles E. Willis
    • 1
  • Don F. Schomer
    • 2
  1. 1.Teleradiology Networks CompanySan AntonioUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyUniversity of Texas Health Science CenterSan AntonioUSA

Personalised recommendations