Telemedicine applications in pediatric cardiology

Minerva Pediatr. 2003 Feb;55(1):1-13.


Echocardiography is often used to diagnose and exclude important cardiac diagnoses in children. Evolving telemedicine technology has the potential to improve access to echocardiography diagnoses in the intensive care unit, emergency room, and newborn nursery. The two primary modes of telemedicine practice are "store and forward" and "real-time" videoconferencing. A digital echocardiogram (often several one cardiac cycle loops) can be stored at one site and forwarded across a telemedicine network to a receiving station for review at a later time. Pediatric cardiologists often favor "real-time" telemedicine because of the ability to guide sonographers with limited experience in congenital heart disease. A complete telemedicine system requires a modified computer, a low- or high-speed connection, and telemedicine inputs. Several adult and pediatric clinical studies have shown telemedicine to be accurate, improve patient care, be cost-effective, enhance echocardiogram quality and sonographer proficiency, and promote practice expansion. Obstacles to widespread implementation of telemedicine include lack of standardization of telemedicine components, confusing legal issues and licensure requirements, and poor reimbursement.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiology / methods*
  • Cardiology Service, Hospital*
  • Child
  • Computers
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Heart Diseases / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Telemetry / instrumentation*