Telemedicine Applications for the Regional Paediatric Cardiology Service in Northern Ireland

B. Grant, J. G. Wallace, R. A. Hobson, B. G. Craig, H. C. Mulholland, F. A. Casey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The regional paediatric cardiology centre in Northern Ireland has a telemedicine network linking the neonatal units of three district general hospitals using ISDN and IP-compliant equipment. We have previously reported the use of ISDN transmission at 128 kbit/s for remote echocardiography. In a series of 61 patients, a total of 59 transmitted scans were of sufficient diagnostic quality to confirm or exclude the presence of major congenital heart disease (CHD). There were three diagnostic errors (7%). Subsequently, we have examined the use of ISDN transmission at 384 kbit/s. Echocardiographic studies were carried out on 21 patients and all were followed up. Fourteen patients (67%) had CHD confirmed. There were two diagnostic errors (10%). Our experience of transmitting live echocardiographic images suggests that ISDN at 384 kbit/s provides the optimum balance between the clarity of the transmitted images and costs. We expect that IP videoconferencing will offer similar quality but at a lower running cost, and are currently assessing it in a pilot study. All sites within our network will remain capable of ISDN transmission until the efficacy and reliability of IP transmission has been demonstrated in a controlled trial. The clinical telemedicine service has led to the earlier diagnosis of and instigation of appropriate treatment for CHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-33
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jan 2002


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