When would I use telemedicine?
What is the best computer configuration to run the Antech Imaging Services platform?
What type of connection do I need?
Do I need special software?
When can I begin sending cases for a consultation?
Does Antech Imaging Services work with any DR system?
What are my image capture options?
Does Antech Imaging Services support film or mail-in service?
- When you want a specialist to assist with interpretation of a clinical case
- When you need assistance on "what to do next"
- To help improve the quality of medicine in your practice and increase your practice revenue
- Whenever you or your client wants a second opinion
- When you are confronted with a medical emergency and do not have the time to properly research the problem
- When you are presented with a case containing conflicting data
- When you have performed an ultrasound exam and need to have someone interpret the image
- To reduce interpretation error rates
- To enhance the image and effectiveness of your practice
Computers that do not meet these specifications may not be capable of sending images and receiving case consultations:
- 1.0GHz (or faster)
- 512 MB RAM (more is better)
- 10.0+GB Hard Drive
- 16MB Video RAM
- USB or USB2 connection for scanning device or camera cable
- 17-inch monitor (1280x1040) or 21-inch monitor (1600x1200)
- If you will be using your PC to view images frequently, additional RAM and an improved graphics card will improve performance
- High-speed Internet connection (broadband, DSL, cable, satellite)
There are several options to consider when selecting an Internet service.
Antech Imaging Services recommends "always-on" connections, such as DSL or cable, that provide fast upload and download speeds at reasonable prices. "Always-on" connections can be networked through your practice, improving Web access for all users. Satellite connections are compelling for rural practices where there are limited or no alternatives.
- DSL — This type of connection is "always-on," requiring no dialing of access numbers. DSL utilizes existing telephone lines, but it is not available in all areas. DSL service is expanding rapidly and offers 300–600Kbps upload speeds and up to 1500Kbps download speeds. Typical monthly costs range from $40–$100/mo. For information regarding DSL availability in your area, please visit www.dslreports.com or call your local phone company.
- Cable Modem — Cable modems also feature an "always-on" connection, but speeds are not guaranteed (although they are generally comparable to DSL speeds). Cable Internet connections are shared connections, and upload and download speeds are determined by how many users are connected to the cable switch at any one time. A cable Internet connection is a good option, if available. Installation costs are minimal, and cable service is available in most metropolitan areas. Monthly costs typically run $30–$40 per month.
- Satellite — Satellite is now a compelling alternative when DSL or cable Internet connections are not available. The satellite alternative also offers two-way high-speed Internet access that is "always on." The primary advantage is its availability virtually everywhere. Installation costs range from $600–$900 per unit. Monthly costs range from $70–$300/mo. For more information regarding satellite service, please visit www.StarBand.com or www.earthlink.net
Although no special software is required.
If your computer and your Internet connection are already in place, all you need is a method to capture digital images. Call us and we will recommend equipment that is right for your practice and budget. We will also provide the setup, training and support that you need to get started. Click here for our contact information.
If your system is DICOM3-compliant, it will work with the Antech Imaging Services platform. Call us toll free at 877.727.6800 or e-mail us at email@example.com if you have questions about your DR system.
There are a number of ways to acquire digital images of radiographs — Digital Radiography (DR), Computed Radiography (CR), film scanners, flatbed scanners, Radiograph Digital Converters (RDC) and digital cameras. Film scanners, CR and DR systems meet the American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) recommendations for digital images. Flatbed scanners and digital cameras produce images that many specialists accept as diagnostic-quality. With the dramatic improvement in resolution, digital cameras now provide an opportunity for easy entry into telemedicine at a reasonable price.
Listed below are equipment recommendations for digital cameras, flatbed scanners, film scanners and Radiograph Digital Converters. We have hands-on experience with all these technologies, as well as many others not listed.
Prices for digital cameras offering high-quality image resolution have fallen dramatically over the past few years. It has never been less expensive to produce high-quality digital images of your X-rays. Any digital camera with an effective resolution of 3MP or greater should be satisfactory. If you currently own a digital camera, please call us at 877.727.6800 and we will be happy to evaluate the camera for use in a telemedicine application. Digital cameras should have the following minimal specifications:
- 3.0+ Effective Megapixels
- White load balance
- USB connectivity (allows direct image download from camera to computer)
- Memory card storage (4MB – 128MB)
- Brightness or EV compensation (ideal -2.0 to +2.0)
- Aspherical glass lens
- Optical Zoom
In addition, we highly recommend a digital copy stand and high-frequency illuminator. The copy stand eliminates blur from camera shaking and accommodates a perpendicular camera position. It also allows centering of the image, especially with close-up shots, to provide emphasis on suspected lesions. The high-frequency illuminator prevents "flicker lines" typically seen when using standard AC viewboxes/illuminators used for radiograph viewing. AC fluorescent bulbs flicker at the alternating current rate — 60Hz, or 60 times per second. When the exposure rate is faster than the flicker rate, alternating lines of increased and decreased density are produced within the image, interfering with evaluation.
As an alternative to a digital camera, you might consider a flatbed scanner for digitization of your X-ray images. Flatbed scanners are essentially color document scanners that have a transmissive scanning feature to accommodate black-and-white transparencies. The advantage of flatbed scanners is that they remove operator error from the image acquisition process, and they capture images of good diagnostic quality. A disadvantage is that most flatbed scanners do not have large scanning beds, because they are designed for documents no larger than legal size. As a result, only a few can capture a 10x12 radiograph.
Film scanners have always been the best way to reproduce original film. Film scanners are designed specifically for digitizing radiographs. They can accommodate the largest film dimensions, and they produce high-resolution images. Laser and CCD technologies dominate the market for film scanners. CCD technology has now evolved and is closing the gap in optical density ranges that until recently was dominated by laser technology. Film scanners can represent a significant investment for your practice. We recommend that you contact an Antech Imaging Services representative at 877.727.6800 to discuss film scanner options before making such an expensive and important purchase.
If you would you like access to a Antech Imaging Services specialist, but don't have a digital camera or scanner, then try our Film Mail-in Service! All you need is an e-mail address!
Here is how it works:
Call us toll free at 877. 727.6800 to establish your account.
We will provide you with medical history forms for case submission.
You have two options to mail a case: You can send it to us at:
Antech Imaging Services
17672-B Cowan Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614
Attn: Mail-in Service
Or you can call us at 877. 727.6800, and we will arrange for FedEx to pick up your film. (We will e-mail you a completed shipping form for your package.)
- We will scan your films on a Lumisys (ACVR-approved) film scanner.
- A board certified radiologist (or other specialist of your choice) will review the case information and radiographic images.
- In less than 4 hours from the time we receive your film, you will receive an e-mail that contains a hyperlink to your specialist report. If your e-mail system allows clickable hyperlinks, just click and go. Otherwise, copy and paste the URL into your Internet browser to access the final report, prepared by an expert.
- We will return your film to you by regular mail. All it takes is a single phone call and you can experience the benefits of telemedicine before you invest in equipment.