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Telecommunications for endoscopy information

Physicians require the best possible quality, performance and security available, particularly when exchanging endoscopic information. However, due to the large diversity of workstations used, the gathered information comes in different formats and thus becomes hard to transfer. In order to address this problem, the developed DICOM Explorer software offers enhanced capabilities of communication of endoscopic images and texts, assuring the consistency, quality and confidentiality of the involved information.

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Endoscopy constitutes the most widely used method for the diagnosis of many diseases, such as digestive disorders. Digestive endoscopy is currently performed with the use of electronic devices, equipped with a CCD (Charge Coupled Device) at the tip of the endoscope that assists the physician's eye within human body. The collected images appear on a screen from which the physician controls the examination procedure. Since most conventional endoscopic workstations include a computer the physician can store images taken during diagnostic procedure. Until now, the variety of workstations used has not allowed the transfer of endoscopic data collected which would be very useful not only for the medical scientific community, but also for the patient. Focusing on this, the DICOM Explorer succeeded in the developing a standardised format for the information exchanged that is comprehensible by all systems. The DICOM Explorer is essentially a helpful tool for physicians. It uses tags for tagging the image and related text data. Information is transferable to a database via TCP/IP protocol, whereby it is stored data within as a standardised DICOM object, readable by all workstations. The software's architecture allows full adaptability to the user's needs. Additionally, the user has the option to include several data fields other than the mandatory description of the text. The new system is beneficial for everyone. The medical community will be able to exchange information coming from different workstations that leads to better support of the treatment decision, and eventually to better management of diseases. The patient will receive a better treatment based on better decision made from communication between experts and a better follow up while avoiding any unnecessary repeat of diagnostic examination. Ultimately, the total cost of care will be significantly reduced from the improved patient's follow up and the faster decision-making.

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