The winner on style points atthe 1994 Radiological Society of North America meeting had tobe Acuson, for its Memphis-to-Chicago telemedicine demonstrationof the Aegis ultrasound image distribution and management system. The presentation replicated the
The winner on style points atthe 1994 Radiological Society of North America meeting had tobe Acuson, for its Memphis-to-Chicago telemedicine demonstrationof the Aegis ultrasound image distribution and management system.
The presentation replicated the glitter of the initial Aegisroll-out, which was a crowd-pleaser at the 1992 RSNA conference(SCAN 12/2/92). This time, however, there was a greater risk oftechnical breakdown among the numerous parties involved in thepresentation. Help came from Ameritech, AT&T, BellSouth andMCI to provide a two-way link for real-time audio, video and ultrasoundimage transmission. The demonstrations, repeated four times dailyat the show, went off without a hitch, much to the relief of Acusonpersonnel.
Acuson, of Mountain View, CA, promoted the demonstration aspossibly the first interstate transmission of live ultrasoundexaminations. The interactive audio/video demonstration linkeda technologist performing an examination on Acuson's 128XP/10ultrasound system at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis toDr. Donald S. Emerson, an associate professor at the Universityof Tennessee-Memphis, who observed the procedure at an Aegis workstationin Chicago. Emerson instructed the technologist on changes intransducer positioning while viewing images transmitted to Acuson'sRSNA booth through the telecommunications link.
The investigational telemedicine system has long-term clinicaland economic implications, Emerson said.
"This communications network allows hospitals to expandultrasound services to new communities while saving physiciantravel time by transmitting images to a central reading area,"he said.
Many technical barriers had to be overcome to make the presentationpossible. In Chicago, Ameritech provided an ATM-based switchingand 155-megabit, OC-3 fiber-optic link to route images and datafrom MCI's long-distance fiber-optic network to the McCormickPlace site. An identical ATM-based switching and fiber-optic networkwas provided by BellSouth in Memphis.
AT&T contributed its EMMI Multimedia Interface units tothe Regional Medical Center in Memphis and the RSNA exhibit floor.The EMMI units allowed transmission and reception of full-motionvideo, compact-disk-quality stereo audio and high-speed data overthe ATM wide-area network. The 500 miles between Memphis and Chicagowere bridged on MCI's long-haul, fiber-optic transmission facilities.
Miller Freeman, Inc.
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