Dr Sunita Maheswari.
Aim and Objective: To assess the usage of a Tele-Cardiology platform for Tele- Electrocardiograms (tele-ECG), tele-Echocardiography reporting and tele consultations.
Material and Methods: A new Tele-Cardiology web based technology (CARDIOSpa ) was tested locally within a clinic in Bangalore and long distance between Assam and Karnataka, two states in India. At the Bangalore clinic a DICOM compatible echocardiography machine was integrated with CARDIOSpa in order to transmit echoes and provisional reports done by the sonographer were reported later by a cardiologist. Tele-ECGs uploaded from Assam through CARDIOSpa were viewed and reported by cardiologists in Karnataka. Video teleconsultations with a digital stethoscope were done in cases that needed it.
Results: In six months from January 2015 to July 2015, 1047 echocardiograms and 316 ECG’s were uploaded to CARDIOSpa and successfully reported by specialist Cardiologists. The Cardiologists were able to review the cases with adequate resolution from their laptops with downloads occurring within 2-4 minutes per echo with a bandwidth of 2mbps. Although the video consulting was successful, the quality of the heart sounds transmitted by the digital stethoscope varied according to bandwidth availability and background noise.
Conclusion: Trained sonographers and ECG technicians at centers that lack cardiologists can be supported by specialist Cardiologists located in other locations using currently available tele-cardiology platforms. Addition of video consultations with a digital stethoscope to tele ECG and tele echo reporting completes the cardiac assessment.