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J Telemed Telecare. 1998;4(2):113-9.

A pilot study of tele-oncology in Scotland.

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Department of Clinical Oncology, Western General Hospital, Edinburg, UK.


A pilot study of tele-oncology linking a cancer centre with a rural district general hospital was carried out; it involved patients, physicians, surgeons, radiologists and nursing staff. Its purpose was to complement the existing on-site outpatient services, providing oncological advice on non-clinic days. During the six months of the trial, 18 videoconferences were conducted. Their median duration was 17 min (range 7-40). Eight videoconferences involved patients directly. Acceptability of videoconferencing to doctors, nurses and patients was assessed by a questionnaire. Patients and staff found the technique acceptable and were satisfied with the results. The addition of a teleradiology system to teleconsultations was found to be important when decisions on patient management were taken. Following the success of this pilot trial, large studies of tele-oncology in the UK with measures of cost-effectiveness are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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