OBJECTIVE: To assess whether the quality of x ray films transmitted via a low cost (low resolution) telemedicine link was satisfactory for clinical diagnosis. METHODS: A retrospective study of a set of consecutive accident and emergency (A&E) radiographs. An A&E registrar viewed these directly on a standard x ray viewing box and via a telemedicine link. RESULTS: There were 81 abnormalities out of 234 x ray films. Three abnormalities were missed both on the x ray viewing box and telemedicine link, one of which was significant. There were five additional abnormalities missed on the telemedicine link but detected on the x ray viewing box, of which two were significant. One normal x ray film was interpreted as abnormal on the telemedicine link. There were no false positives on direct viewing. CONCLUSION: Transference of plain radiographs using a low cost/low resolution telemedicine link by A&E doctors is adequate for clinical interpretation.
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