Bone-disorder experts from across Europe have turned to the web in a unique alliance that will improve patient care.
The European Skeletal Dysplasia Network (ESDN), which was developed by The University of Manchester, links eight institutions in six different countries by means of a secure web portal. The hi-tech referral system means a patient, say, in Italy could have their case referred to a bone specialist in Belgium and a genetics expert in Manchester, while a laboratory in Switzerland confirms the diagnosis.
The network allows a doctor to submit a description and x-ray images of their patient to the portal, which are then referred to a group of specialists connected through an electronic discussion forum who can consider the case. “There is no one centre with all the necessary experience or facilities to cope with the diagnosis of so many types of bone disorders,” said project administrator Jacky Taylor, who is based at the National Genetics Reference Laboratory in Manchester. “There are more than 200 different kinds of complaints ranging from mild to life-threatening, so clinicians face significant problems identifying which condition their patient has. “This web-based, case-management system overcomes geographical barriers and brings together the scarce clinical resources for these rare conditions.
Aeron Haworth | alfa
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