Medical decision support for remote general practitioners using telemedicine

J Telemed Telecare. 1997;3(1):27-34. doi: 10.1258/1357633971930166.


A telemedicine link was set up between the casualty department of a remote community hospital and the accident and emergency department of a large urban hospital. The telemedicine link comprised teleradiology, videoconferencing and telepresence. The system was connected by ISDN (128 kbit/s) and also by a satellite link (64 kbit/s). During a one-year clinical trial, 120 teleconsultations took place between the community hospital and the specialist trauma centre, 110 using ISDN and 10 using the satellite link. Teleradiology was used in 116 teleconsultations, videoconferencing in 76, and telepresence in four. Survey results indicated that both the general practitioners running the community hospital and accident and emergency consultants felt that teleconsultation had improved patient care. Communication between clinicians using the telemedicine link avoided the transfer of 70 patients, representing an estimated cost saving of Pounds 65,000.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Emergencies*
  • Family Practice / economics
  • Family Practice / methods*
  • Hospitals, Community
  • Hospitals, Urban
  • Humans
  • Remote Consultation*
  • Satellite Communications
  • Scotland
  • Teleradiology*
  • Trauma Centers