Teleradiology using low-cost consumer-oriented computer hardware and software

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1999 May;172(5):1181-4. doi: 10.2214/ajr.172.5.10227485.


Objective: Our study was a practice audit to evaluate the feasibility of using low-cost, consumer-oriented computer hardware and software to perform after-hours teleradiology consisting predominantly of CT images.

Materials and methods: We performed a prospective study of 137 consecutive emergent CT scans of the head obtained after business hours. The scans were digitized using a consumer-oriented, low-cost flatbed scanner and sent to on-call radiologists for interpretation. Preliminary reports were then telephoned to the referring physician. Another radiologist who was unaware of the preliminary report evaluated the hard-copy images.

Results: Combining cases with minor discrepancies and those of complete agreement, we found a 96% concordance. Five major discrepancies (4%) were found. No adverse outcomes resulted. Discrepancies were caused by interobserver variation rather than by the quality of the digitized images.

Conclusion: Our results support the use of consumer-oriented, low-cost computer hardware and software for emergent teleradiology in which most of the transmitted studies consist of CT images of the head.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Computers
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Software*
  • Teleradiology / economics*
  • Teleradiology / instrumentation*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / economics*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / instrumentation
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods