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Collaboration is a key requirement in several contemporary interventional radiology procedures (IRPs). This work proposes a multicast hybrid satellite system capable of supporting advanced IRP collaboration, and evaluates its feasibility and applicability. Following a detailed IRP requirements study, we have developed a system which supports IRP collaboration through the employment of a hybrid satellite-terrestrial network, a prototype multicast version of wavelet based interactive communication system (WinVicos) application, and a partition aggregation and conditional coding (PACC) wavelet codec. A semistructured questionnaire was also used to receive evaluative feedback from collaborating participants. The departments of interventional radiology of University Hospital of Patras, Greece and of Charite Hospital of Berlin, Germany have been connected on the system. Eight interventional radiologists and a vascular surgeon participated periodically in three satellite-terrestrial ldquofully collaborativerdquo IRPs (average time 90 min) of high complexity and in four terrestrial educational sessions with great success, evidenced by considerable improving the IRP outcomes (clinical and educational). In case of high complexity, where the simultaneous presence of remote interventional expert and/or surgeon is required, advanced collaboration among staff of geographically dispersed international centers is feasible via integration of existing networking and other technologies.
Information Technology in Biomedicine, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:11 , Issue: 5 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 2007