ECHONET broadband telemedicine system
Intensive Care Units in regional hospitals are often required to make management decisions for their patients requiring a range of specialist expertise; this is particularly true for cardiac involvement, when an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) needs to be performed. These examinations are highly interactive, involve the imaging of rapidly moving structures, and the cardiologist and intensivist discuss patient management based on their findings.
CSIRO built on its experience with the Virtual Critical Care Unit to devise ECHONET, a mobile broadband telemedicine system designed to virtually bring a remote specialist to the point of care where he or she can participate in image-based diagnostic procedures such as echocardiography. It is based on a model of distributed expertise rather than peripheral hospitals referring to a specialist centre, and is aimed at assisting health systems to leverage an already stretched workforce.
The clinical trial for ECHONET is designed to establish its ability to share intensive care and echocardiography expertise among a number of Tasmanian Hospitals.
Dr Jesper Kjeldskov