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Telemed J. 1995 Spring;1(1):47-52.

Tele-endoscopic otorhinolaryngological examination: preliminary study of patient satisfaction.

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Department of Telemedicine, University Hospital of Tromsø, Norway.



Modern telecommunications and computer technologies enable the delivery of expert consultations and remote diagnoses that previously required transportation of patients or medical specialists. The purpose of this study was to determine whether patients are satisfied with one form of telemedicine consultation.


A general practitioner was trained to perform endoscopic otorhinolaryngological examinations. After the training period, he examined patients at a local health center in Alta, 250 km from Tromsø. Images from the endoscopic examination were transmitted to the otorhinolaryngologist at the University Hospital of Tromsø for real-time consultation. Twenty-six patients, on a randomly selected day, were asked to complete a questionnaire after the tele-endoscopic examination. The questionnaire was returned anonymously by 24 of the patients.


Although patients interacted with the specialist only via videoconferencing, the results show that most (23/24) were satisfied with this type of consultation, and they reported more advantages than disadvantages. Twenty-one patients indicated that they would accept another tele-endoscopic consultation if they required examination by an otorhinolaryngologist in the future.


Although the sample is limited, the results justify continued investigation of this and other types of telemedicine consultations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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