Study: Experienced off site physicians can outperform technologists in tough scans

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A recent study published in the November issue of the journal Radiology evaluated the success of doing body scans that are controlled by an off-site physician using a personal computer and special software – rather than having an on-site technologist control it. The study looked at very complicated types of scans. In such instances, experience is most important, and being on-site in the room with the patient is less important. The end benefit to patients is that expertise need not be down the street for patients to access it. In a way, expertise is now portable. The study did case-by-case comparisons of the same MRI scans done by the on-site operator or the off-site doctor. When the results were tallied, 90 percent of remote scans were considered “excellent” whereas the on-site scans only ranked that high 60 percent of the time. The off-site physician used a special software and virtual network connection software that allowed the MRI to be controlled remotely.