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Monday, 16 October, 2000, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Doctors get X-rays on the web
X-rays will be accessible over the web
A leading British hospital has introduced internet technology that could revolutionise the way patients are diagnosed and treated.

The system installed by Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London will enable doctors to view X-rays and scans on the web.

Ultimately, it should mean that in an emergency on-call consultants will be able to view images using their laptops or personal computers.

This is the future

Leonie Paskin, Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital

This will enable them to give an instant diagnosis without the need to travel in to the hospital.

It will also allow doctors to seek the opinions of other experts around the world.

The system can also be used to make images and medical reports available to GPs and referring clinics.

It should cut the time between initial examination and diagnosis, reducing waiting times before treatment.

And it is also intended to make the process more efficient and less stressful for clinicians and patients.

To ensure the system - which has been developed by Kodak - remains secure, doctors will only be able to access it by giving a password.

Improved efficiency

Dr Lesley MacDonald, the hospital's clinical director of radiology told the BBC: "Digital picture archiving is already common practice, but you need to look at it on a work station which is expensive.

"The idea of this web-enabled software is to send the images through ordinary PCs and laptops.

"We are really surprised at how keen some of the clinicians are to use this."

Leonie Paskin, manager of Radiology Services at Guys and St Thomas Hospital, said the simultaneous availability of images in multiple locations would vastly improve efficiency and workflow.

"Electronic retrieval of medical images will lead to a much more streamlined system than is currently the case with conventional hard-copy film."

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