Impact of telemedicine on pediatric neuro-oncology in a developing country: The Jordanian-Canadian experience

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Abstract

Background

Telemedicine is widely used in industrialized countries for educational purposes. Twinning experiences using telemedicine between institutions in industrialized and developing countries (DC) have been limited. Pediatric neuro-oncology is a complex multidisciplinary discipline that is underserved in most of DC and provides a model to test the feasibility of such tool for twinning purposes.

Methods

A computer, an EMLO visual presenter HV-7600SX document camera, and a TANDBERG 6000 model videoconference unit were used to present data. For connectivity, we used a six-channel ISDN telephone line. Each channel is 64 megabytes/sec.

Results

Between December 2004 and May 2006, 20 sessions of videoconference were held between King Hussein Cancer Center and the Hospital for Sick Children to discuss 72 cases of 64 patients with various brain tumors (5 patients were discussed twice and 1 patient four times). In 23 patients (36%), major changes from original plan were recommended on different aspects of the care. In 21 patients (91%), those recommendations were followed, with potentially significant positive impact on patients' care.

Conclusions

Videoconferencing is a feasible and practical twinning tool in pediatric neuro-oncology with a potentially major impact on patient care. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2007;48:39–43. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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