Despite a distance of more than 1,000 miles, staff at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee and St Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in New Jersey were able to simultaneously review diagnostic images from patients at the joint launch of the hospitals’ new telemedicine equipment, making them the first two medical institutions in the US to employ this form of high-definition technology.
The high-definition telemedicine video conferencing equipment allows St Jude and St Joseph’s to confer and view CT scans as well as MRI and nuclear medical imaging with more clarity than ever before and in real-time. Both facilities received the equipment, made by Polycom, through a donation from Medical Missions for Children.
The technology provides clear, 3-D imagery that allows clinicians to view both the anatomy and physiology of a tumor. Its high-definition transmission of images permits X-rays and 3-D reconstructional images to be viewed in the detail in which they were recorded.
In addition, it unites clinicians whose expertise could help in implementing treatment protocols that could save the life of a child across the country, or even on another continent.
St Jude will use the technology to collaborate with specialists at St Joseph’s on pediatric oncology cases that are atypical and require special attention or represent unique research cases.
The technology connectivity will also be possible with other locations. The network design, which is backward-compatible with traditional teleconferencing equipment, will allow units at St Jude and St Joseph’s to connect virtually anywhere in the world.