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Standard communication protocol for ECG exchange in tele-cardiology network for rural areas: three years project experience

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5 Author(s)

The National project “Territorial Tele-Cardiology” aims to make easily available ECG diagnosis in the medical ambulatory situation and in patients' homes by supporting the diagnostic phase by telephone consultation with an expert cardiologist. General practitioners (GPs) were equipped with a standard 12 leads electrocardiograph with an internal modem for connection to a consultant station placed at the closest Coronary Care Unit. The connection between the GP and the cardiologist was organized in an asynchronous way, with an incoming list of processed ECG available 24 hour a day. The network has been in progress since 1997 and is now available for 15,000 patients with a used rate of 54±8 ECGs per week. The average response time was 1.5 days and was always lower than 3 days. In conclusion, this project has demonstrated the feasibility and utility of a Tele-Cardiology network, offering improved access to a specialist service even in rural and mountainous areas

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Computers in Cardiology 2000

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