Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
International Journal of Telemedicine and Applications
Volume 2015, Article ID 306259, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/306259
Review Article

Teleultrasound: Historical Perspective and Clinical Application

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Department of Perinatal Medicine, Pregnancy Research Centre, Royal Women’s Hospital, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3207, Australia
2School of Medicine, University of São José do Rio Preto, São José do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil
3Monash Ultrasound for Women, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
4Department of Obstetrics, Paulista School of Medicine-Federal University of São Paulo (EPM-UNIFESP), 05303-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Received 12 September 2014; Accepted 8 February 2015

Academic Editor: Sotiris A. Pavlopoulos

Copyright © 2015 Adilson Cunha Ferreira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The health care of patients in rural or isolated areas is challenged by the scarcity of local resources, limited patient access to doctors and hospitals, and the lack of specialized professionals. This has led to a new concept in telemedicine: teleultrasonography (or teleultrasound), which permits ultrasonographic diagnoses to be performed remotely. Telemedicine and teleultrasonography are effective in providing diagnostic imaging services to these populations and reduce health care costs by decreasing the number and duration of hospitalizations and reducing unnecessary surgical procedures. This is a narrative review to present the potential clinical applications of teleultrasonography in clinical practice. The results indicate that although barriers persist for implementing teleultrasonography in a more universal and routine way, advances in telecommunications, Internet bandwidth, and the high resolution currently available for portable ultrasonography suggest teleultrasonography applications will continue to expand. Teleultrasound appears to be a valuable addition to remote medical care for isolated populations with limited access to tertiary healthcare facilities and also a useful tool for education and training.