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Today the world remains enveloped in the Coronavirus pandemic that continues to grow in its extent. Just when it appears that the infection peak has been crossed the virus tends to reappear, and new clusters and spikes are detected. Physicians are in particular highly vulnerable to this viral infection given the possibility of heightened exposure to this respiratory virus . It has been clearly established that social distancing (among other measures) is of primary benefit in limiting the spread of COVID-19 infection . In this environment the healthcare community may take reassurance from the fact that telemedicine technology is available to support our doctors and support staff in their efforts to identify and treat COVID-19. Teleradiology has an extremely significant role in the fight against coronavirus. It is the branch of telemedicine that has always been the epicenter of telehealth delivery. It involves the transmission of a patient’s images in digital format. and sent to a different location where the radiologist is available. so that proper interpretation of the images is possible. Digitization is possible by scanning physical Images or using digital sources like a digital Xray machine. This is of particular value in the emergency setting.

Why is Radiology of importance during the Coronavirus pandemic:

Radiology has been found to be of extremely significant importance in the care of patients with Coronavirus. It has been seen that radiologic patterns seen on X-ray and chest CT scan can be fairly specific for COVID-19 infection. In the earlier phases of the outbreak, before swab testing was promptly accessible, CT filter was utilized by specialists to survey the likelihood of COVID-19 infection , and it has additionally been utilized to follow the movement of the infection.

Following this, comparative results have been obtained of different parts of the world. Hence, the capacity to rapidly report patients suspected of having COVID infection becomes significant. Further as the lockdowns have been eased and routine patient care has been returning to pre-COVID levels, the imaging volumes have in parallel been steadily increasing resulting in greater need for radiology interpretation services.

How does Teleradiology help?

In an emergency setting, teleradiology ensures that when a scan is performed, it is reported immediately and treatment decisions made in parallel. In India we have an excessively higher number of radiologists in the metros, with relative under-portrayal in level 2 urban communities and far of pieces of the nation. Along these lines, in some event, when the imaging hardware might be accessible, the radiologist may not be nearby at the hour of the X-beam or output to report it.

Teleradiology is of extraordinary incentive in this climate. The meticulous reporting of x-beams performed at Community Health Centers over the province of Tripura by our public board of radiologists, is a case of such a situation . In a climate, for example, the current COVID pandemic where huge quantities of chest X-beams and CT examines are being performed over a brief timeframe outline, teleradiology can be an important reinforcement to existing administrations.

Further, in the course of recent years, teleradiology has expanded universally. A solitary radiologist is frequently reporting for various emergency clinics over the world at the same time, broadening the span and commitment of the radiologist. In the setting of a pandemic, having a board of radiologists spread over the world who can give 24 x 7 inclusion might be an important reinforcement for nearby frameworks which will be overpowered during a provincial spike in cases. Particularly during the night move when staffing is brief and staff are exhausted the gracefully of a reinforcement radiologist who is in a day-time region over the planet can be of significant advantage.

Ensuring radiologist productivity during Social Distancing

Even more important role of teleradiology at this point lies in ensuring continuity of patient care by allowing radiologists to operate uninterrupted from their homes in a protected environment. While some radiologists are required to be present at the hospital to perform onsite procedures, those having an interpretive role can also report cases from offsite.

In the era of strict social distancing and self-isolation it permits radiologists to keep on being profitable and make a genuinely important commitment at the hour of an uncommon emergency.

Teleradiology gives a virtual office type work process which permits a group of radiologists to stay associated consistently for conversation of complex cases. The utilization of teleradiology innovation makes it conceivable to rapidly and effectively preparing updates and academic exercises within a huge gathering of radiologists.

Access to training material from around the world:

As referenced, radiology has just assumed a significant function in the COVID pandemic till date. As the pandemic spreads over the world, teleradiology enables radiologists to remove imaging data from cases found in one aspect of the planet and use that data to most extreme advantage in others.

Given that teleradiology is based on digital imaging, a large digital database of material has become available to train radiologists in each part of the world to detect the imaging patterns of COVID-19 in anticipation of the spike in infection. Conducting of webinars and online training programs is facilitated by the digital environment in which teleradiology is practised.

A support for healthcare systems

While teleradiology has set up its part as a central member inside medical care commonly in the course of the most recent 20 years , its function inside the setting of the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic is of equivalent if not more noteworthy significance.

As of now in this pandemic crisis, by supporting regions of doctor deficiency and sponsorship up their in-medical clinic partners, teleradiology can help in an extremely noteworthy way to ease some of the anxieties that worldwide medical care frameworks are at present encountering.

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Author

– Dr. Arjun Kalyanpur, MD
MD, Diplomate, American

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