• Innovative ICT solutions in telemedicine to support clinical practice and research in hospitals

Bava, Michele Salvatore Valerio





Web technologies

Biomedical research





The scope of this study was to examine ICT telemedicine innovations and potentialities in web-portals, intranet services and tele-radiology topics respectively, in order to design, develop and, possibly, realize apposite telemedicine systems and solutions for healthcare and in particular for the hospitals. ICT techniques and technologies are nowadays applied in every area of our common living from work places to our homes, our free-time, schools, universities and so on. The healthcare services offered by hospitals are heavily supported by technologies and, behind them, by a wide research both in ICT and biomedical sciences. Thanks to these advances telemedicine is now becoming a fundamental part of services offered by hospitals and healthcare structures. The healthcare management, the doctors and the common people are now experimenting how telemedicine is an added value to all the services offered in terms of the quality of care, the patient follow up, the early diagnose and treatment of pathologies and diseases. In this research is presented an all-inclusive approach to telemedicine problems and challenges in particular studying, developing and proposing ICT methods and technologies in the above mentioned three areas of interest: •innovative healthcare and telemedicine-ready hospital website or portal design and development; •analysis and study of models for the realization of intranet healthcare services to enhance both quality of care and the management of healthcare personnel evaluation; •tele-radiology and some of its actual new perspectives as the study and the evaluation of the “mobile” tele-radiology approach using commercial tablets (and what it could mean).For the first topic the results may be summarized in the development of a more interactive and “social” hospital web-portal offering original solutions and services to all the categories of users (audience, professionals, researchers), allowing them – through the use of advanced tools - to configure and select their own pages and interests. The originality of this approach consists in a good cost/effective result in the respect of the last and worldwide accepted Internet regulations and policies too. A similar approach regarded the intranet services and the design of web interfaces for the clinical practice and the executive evaluation. These kind of innovative systems regard a limited and selected number of more skilled users, typically belonging to a corporation or to specific offices. As above the approach is important: interactive services, innovative tools and affordable instruments are the keywords of the systems designed or proposed to solve specific problems or needs. The last research topic concerned the proposal of a protocol for the assessment of medical images on commercial displays, interesting the stakeholders and the groups involved in medical images treatment, visualization and communication. The potentialities of the mobile tablet devices improve day after day and new devices are marketed every week and the innovation is round the corner. These potentialities must encounter the medical diagnostics world and meet the standards and the regulations the international community established. It will be difficult for a commercial tablet to obtain the medical device CE mark not only for commercial reasons, but the technical limits may be reached and even surpassed adopting objective measures and evaluations. This study demonstrates that commercial tablets may be used in clinical practice for the correct visualization and diagnose of medical images. The measures of some display characteristics may be considered acceptable for mobile interpretation (even report?) of medical images, but if and only if the ambient lighting conditions are under objective control and integrated automated systems in tablets warns physicians about bad or borderline technical and ambient restrictions or bonds.