Obstetric Teleultrasonography in the Northwestern of Argentina: Preliminary Experiences
AbstractPrenatal controls in the Province of Tucumán, in the northwestern of Argentina, produce many patient referrals from ultrasonography services, which are located in middle complexity centers scattered in its geography, towards high specialized centers because obstetric controls. The present work addresses the problem by using teleultrasonography. We have deployed a PACS, developed with free software, in the public healthcare system network. Dicomized images are stored in the PACS along with forms filled in peripheral centers with observations and consultations for specialized opinions. Preliminary results are shown. These consist of: (1) The process of training and involvement of the healthcare staff. The last one is reflected by the evolution of formalized requisites for images quality and the evolution of the forms made by them. (2) Studies made in peripheral centers that avoided referrals through teleconsultation, and one case of fetal malformations where teleconsultation allowed acting quickly. (3) The performance of the network and the overall time spent by an average study was 8 ± 3 minutes, considered acceptable. The preliminary results gathered through an experimental process shown that fetal problems can be detected quickly and inexpensiveness, but the healthcare system must formalize the “teleconsultation” as a professional activity.