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Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Annual Meeting supplement now available
Date:8/1/2010

of transmitted tympanic membrane (TM) images for managing remotely located patients with ear disease. Store-and-forward telemedicine, consisting of digitized TM images, clinical histories, and audiograms, is now used extensively for evaluation and follow-up of patients with otitis media, TM perforations, tympanostomy tubes, hearing loss, hearing aid medical clearance, facial trauma, and pathology of the oropharynx.

The otolaryngologists at Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) in Anchorage, AK, have gained confidence using store-and-forward telemedicine to diagnose and plan therapy for a wide range of otologic conditions, including those for which major reconstructive ear surgery is required. It has become common practice to schedule a patient for major ear surgery based solely on the information contained in the store-and-forward telemedicine case, with the initial in-person encounter occurring on the day prior to surgery during the pre-operative visit.

While some patients are able to drive to Anchorage for specialty care, most need to fly at a cost of $200 - $1200 per person. Telemedicine has the potential to reduce the time, risk, and cost associated with expensive travel. It is important to know if store-and-forward telemedicine leads to accurate surgical planning.

The study evaluates if telemedicine can accurately predict the surgical procedure indicated and estimate the operative time needed for the procedure, compared to the standard face-to-face evaluation. The research concludes that store-and-forward telemedicine is as effective as in-person evaluation for planning elective major ear surgery.


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Contact: Mary Stewart
mstewart@entnet.org
703-535-3762
American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery
Source:Eurekalert

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