"Some patients require specialized scans that not all of our technologists are familiar with, so we implemented a software program that enables us to run the MRI machine from a remote location," said J. Paul Finn, M.D., lead author and chief of diagnostic cardiovascular imaging at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). "A technologist who is skilled at performing that particular scan can log on from a personal computer and perform the exam via remote control."
After accessing the password-protected program online, a remote operator can control all of the necessary imaging parameters to conduct the exam, while a technologist onsite can give the patient instructions, monitor patient safety and administer any intravenous contrast material that might be needed. This means that specialized skills in MRI can now be implemented wherever they are needed, even if the necessary expertise is not available at the site where the MRI machine is located.
Dr. Finn said the software program was tested by performing some of the most demanding scans needed at the hospital, such as scans of pediatric patients with congenital cardiovascular disorders. The rationale was that the patients undergoing these exams are the ones for whom specialized assistance might be needed most.
In the study, 30 adult and pediatric patients underwent traditional MRI with the technologist onsite, and an additional 30 patients (also composed of adults and children) were scanned by a remote operator. The same MRI machine was used for all scans. The images were then assessed for image quality.
Overall, 90 percent of remote scans were rated as "excellent," versus 60 percent of scans performed with the operator onsite. Since the study was originally accepted for publication, Dr. Finn indicated that an additional 50 patients have been scanned with the remote-control technique, also with excellent results. This likely reflects expertise of the personnel operating the MRI machine from off-site. As with many institutions, onsite staff at UCLA may have limited experience in performing specialized cardiac or vascular scans.
Dr. Finn added that because the types of diagnostic scans they have studied are among the most complex currently undertaken, it seems reasonable to suggest that the results can be generalized to other types of studies.
"At UCLA, we have already established interstate and transatlantic remote-control connectivity, and initial results are very promising," he said. "As the speed and reliability of the Internet increases, it seems inevitable that distance will provide no barrier to the global application of this technology."
Dr. Finn emphasizes that the same technology can also be applied to computed tomography (CT)--especially for use in an emergency setting, such as a natural disaster or on the battlefield. Such events may overwhelm local resources, where technologists trained in specialized imaging techniques can be hard to find.
Maureen Morley | EurekAlert!
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
18.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences