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J Telemed Telecare. 1999;5 Suppl 1:S93-4.

Tele-otolaryngology consultations between two rural primary-care centres in southern Lapland and the University Hospital of Umeå.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital of Umeå, Sweden.


In 1996 a telemedicine link was established between two primary-care centres of Västerbotten county and the University Hospital. Specialties involved at the University Hospital were otoloaryngology, orthopaedics and dermatology. Videoconferencing used ISDN at 384 kbit/s. The primary-care centres were equipped with video-endoscopes. During the first 21 months, there were 32 otolaryngology consultation. The average time for each consultation was between 15 and 30 min. Patients, general practitioners and specialists were interviewed using questionnaires with answers on a six-point scale, in which a score of six was best. Patient satisfaction produced a mean score of 5.7. The specialist doctors rated the video-consultation satisfactory for diagnosis. Roughly 40% of the referrals could be avoided by telemedicine. The general practitioners rated the educational effect of the consultation very highly.

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