Coverage from ECR 2010

Concerns about the legal and medical issues surrounding teleradiology will be aired at a meeting of experts gathered at the European Congress of Radiology, ECR 2010, in Vienna this week.

They are calling for an EU legal framework for teleradiology, the process under which medical images captured in one country may be examined and reported on by a radiologist in another.

Professor Luís Donoso from Barcelona emphasised that when trying to fill the legal void, “radiologists must ensure that they promote the advantages brought by teleradiology.”

Accreditation is a key concern. If a radiologist based in Belgium, for example, provides a report in the UK he or she must have the proper professional accreditation to do so – and vice versa.

“There must be an agreement between the local radiologist and the teleradiologist, and the regulation of telemedicine and teleradiology should be the responsibility of the member state where the patient undergoes the imaging procedure,” an announcement from the ECR said.

The other concern under discussion at the meeting focuses on the current lack of a definition of teleradiology as a medical act.

Professor Donoso explained: “We would like to emphasise that the medical act, when reporting through teleradiology is not only a report.

"Our services include evaluation of examination requests, selection of the most appropriate imaging strategy, optimisation of examination performance, customisation of the imaging protocol and integration of imaging and medical information into the report.”

ECR 2010, the annual meeting of the European Society of Radiology, has attracted 18,000 participants from around the world for its five day event starting today.