Abstract 105: Transferring Images via the Wireless Messaging Network using Camera Phones Shortens Time Required to Diagnose Acute Coronary Syndrome
The speed at which reperfusion treatment can begin is critical in cases of acute coronary syndrome. Electrocardiograms (ECG) are used to make the diagnosis. In the absence of a cardiologist in the emergency room (ER), the ECG image data must be sent to a cardiologist on stand-by outside the hospital. Up until now, ECG images were sent from the hospital to the cardiologist by fax, but if a fax machine is not readily available to the cardiologist, they must look for one in order to receive the image data. More recently, camera phones have become very advanced and are able to send and receive high quality images by e-mail. In this study, we examined whether sending ECG images to a cardiologist by camera phone was more efficient than by fax. ECG images were taken of 20 patients suspected to have acute coronary syndrome. Patients were divided alternately into two groups of ten patients each; the F group and the CP group. The F group’s ECG images were sent to a cardiologist by fax (n=10) and the CP group’s ECG images were sent by camera phone (n=10). We measured the time taken in transmitting the images from the ER to a cardiologist, the time taken to analyze that image and the total time elapsed from image transmission to diagnosis by the cardiologist. All data presented are mean±SD. Group comparisons were based on the Student’s t-test. The amount of time taken in transmitting the images from the ER to the cardiologist was longer in the F group (163.8±5.1 sec) than that taken by the CP group (71.5±4.6 sec). However, the amount of time taken by the cardiologist to analyze those images was shorter in the F group (12.9±1.8 sec) than that of the CP group (24.1±4.3 sec). Total time elapsed from image transmission to diagnosis was shorter in the CP group (95.6 ± 8.4 sec) than that of the F group (176.7 ± 4.9 sec). In conclusion, using camera phones to transmit ECG images to the cardiologist shortens the time taken to diagnose acute coronary syndrome. Furthermore, camera phones are more advantageous in regards to availability and cost in comparison to fax machines because of the recent popularization of camera phones. Therefore, image transmission by camera phones is more efficient in sending image data to a cardiologist than by fax.