Holistic approach to design and implementation of a medical teleconsultation workspace
Journal of Biomedical Informatics
While there are many state-of-the-art approaches to introducing telemedical services in the area of medical imaging, it is hard to point to studies which would address all relevant aspects in a complete and comprehensive manner. In this paper we describe our approach to design and implementation of a universal platform for imaging medicine which is based on our longstanding experience in this area. We claim it is holistic, because, contrary to most of the available studies it addresses all
... ts related to creation and utilization of a medical teleconsultation workspace. We present an extensive analysis of requirements, including possible usage scenarios, user needs, organizational and security issues and infrastructure components. We enumerate and analyze multiple usage scenarios related to medical imaging data in treatment, research and educational applications -with typical teleconsultations treated as just one of many possible options. Certain phases common to all these scenarios have been identified, with the resulting classification distinguishing several modes of operation (local vs. remote, collaborative vs. non-interactive etc.). On this basis we propose a system architecture which addresses all of the identified requirements, applying two key concepts: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Virtual Organizations (VO). The SOA paradigm allows us to decompose the functionality of the system into several distinct building blocks, ensuring flexibility and reliability. The VO paradigm defines the cooperation model for all participating healthcare institutions. Our approach is validated by an ICT platform called TeleDICOM II which implements the proposed architecture. All of its main elements are described in detail and cross-checked against the listed requirements. A case study presents the role and usage of the platform in a specific scenario. Finally, our platform is compared with similar systems described into-date studies and available on the market.