Telecardiology is a branch of telemedicine where cardiac medical information is transferred throgh interactive or non interactive audio-visual media for the purpose of getting consultation, second opinion, expert opinion, medical procedure etc. based on the medical information transferred. Telecardiology can be further classified in to:
- Store and Forward - Medical information is acquired, stored and transmitted for interpretation remotely offline.
- Remote Monitoring - Monitoring of cardiac health remotely with the help of devices installed in the patient's location. Blood pressure, heart beats, body weight, blood glucose, haemoglobin etc can be monitored.
- Interactive - Acquired medical datas and images are transmitted instantaneously and those are interpreted simultaneously from a remote location.
The advancements in modern medical imaging technology, communication systems and information technology have spurred the growth of telecardiology solutions which can revolutionarize the cardiac care in the modern world.
Pediatric telecardiology plays an important role as the number of pediatric cardiologists is limited in many of the developing countries in the world. In many countries presence of pediatric cardiologists are confined to metro cities and there is always a big gap between their number and the number of children with heart diseases. Also the practice of pediatric telecardiology train primary pediatricians with specialist management of children with heard disorders.
Merits of Telecardiology
- Bridge the increasing gap between no of cardiologists and cardiac images.
- Expert/Second opinion for diagnosing complex problems.
- Night coverage for cardiology practices.
- Vacation coverage for cardiologists.
- Shared health professional staffing.
- Communication tool between a general practitioner and a cardiologist.
- Effective means of delivering cardiac care to the rural world.
- Can be an effective teaching tool.
- Can reducae unnecessary hospitalization.
- Bridging the gap between primary and secondary care centers.
- Expert/Second opinion to individuals.