Limited accessibility to certain medical imaging services in regional and rural centres has led to the use of alternative modalities, which may not be best practice or which require patients to travel considerable distances for diagnosis. Data collected over three years were examined to determine the clinical effect of nuclear medicine teleradiology (NMT) and its effect on diagnostic patterns for the investigation of cardiovascular disease, radio-occult musculoskeletal injury and oncology. In comparison with two other rural, non-NMT areas of similar demographic profile, there was a significant shift in the delivery of care in terms of diagnostic work-up. NMT input led to the detection of disease and a change to therapeutic management in 122 cases and eliminated the need to transfer patients to another facility for unnecessary and expensive examinations in 38 cases. While NMT is more costly than conventional nuclear medicine services, it permits faster access to specialist consultation, provides for better management and is likely to reduce overall health costs by reducing the volume of inappropriate tests and treatment practice.
Tually, P., Walker, J., & Cowell, S. (2001). The effect of nuclear medicine telediagnosis on diagnostic pathways and management in rural and remote regions of Western Australia. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 7 Suppl 2, 50-53. https://doi.org/10.1258/1357633011937119