Remote ultrasound using cooperative video: a field study
In this ultrasound field study, patients were examined by a technologist in a separate room from the radiologist. Two-way audio and the NTSC video signal from the ultrasound probe were provided to the remote radiologist. Data were collected using observation, surveys, and interviews. Of particular interest was how often the radiologists felt it clinically necessary to walk to the examination room and interact directly with the patient, indicating a failure of the technology. The system was judged viable with no cases requiring hands-on viewing during the last 3 weeks of the 5- week study. Based on this experience, such video technology has been purchased and is currently in use in the clinic. Similar pilot studies are recommended during introduction of remote consultation facilities to improve technology interaction, develop new organizational procedures, and insure minimal interpersonal conflicts.