technologies for real time telemedicine


Francesca Frexia. Indirizzo E-mail


The use of modern information and communication technologies for clinical purposes is among the measures internationally recommended by time by the European Digital Agenda for eHealth , for a more efficient and patient-oriented healthcare. Telemedicine, in real time or as a second opinion , has long been seen as a response to specific medical needs, but often the proposed solutions are proprietary and very expensive, hard to fall in clinical practice. This difficulty is amplified in situations where real-time video transmissions are necessary, as in the case of operator-dependent tests, for which the outcomes are closely linked to the experience and skill of the operator who must therefore be highly specialized or driven in real time during the execution by an instructor.


The teleconsultation system allows to perform diagnostic tests between two remote centers, using the real-time video display of diagnostics and of the consulting scene and an audio connection between the two doctors. The main strengths of the proposed solutions are flexibility and low cost: to connect two centers are sufficient low-cost devices and bandwidths compatible with the current availability of hospital facilities. The purpose of use can be either clinical / diagnostic and training: current implementations are related to the field of pediatric cardiology and first aid techniques for FAST (Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma), but can be extended to other clinical fields in which the performance of operator-dependent exams are fundamental for the disease diagnosis and treatment.

Innovative features

  • real-time video transmission in diagnostic quality from diagnostic systems with video output (eg. ultrasound) also dated;
  • use of low cost technologies that leverage the hospital existing infrastructure by connecting to the Internet or possibly relying on a dedicated network infrastructure (eg. RTR - Regional Telematics Network);
  • mobile system to allow diagnosis in emergency / urgency by means of mobile devices (useful for clinicians on call);
  • one-to-many video streaming for educational purposes.

Potential users

Medical / paramedical and technical personnel in health care facilities, public or private; teachers and students in clinical / health disciplines; company professionals engaged in clinical information technology.

Impact sectors

Public and private health structures; Universities and institutes for the training of medical, paramedical and technical personnel; Companies engaged in clinical information technology.

Other resources

Tele-ecografia: stato dell'arte e sviluppi futuri. Tecnologie abilitanti per trasmissioni ecografiche in real-time, il caso del progetto REMOTE - R.Triunfo, F.Frexia, F.Cabras - Workshop Telemedicina C/O Ospedale di ricerca Burlo Garofolo, Trieste - Dicembre 2011.

Il progetto REMOTE: tele-ecocardiologia per l'abbattimento delle barriere geografiche - R.Triunfo, F.Cabras, F.Frexia, Conferenza Nazionale sulla Ricerca Sanitaria - Novembre 2011.

R.E.M.O.T.E., Risorse E Modelli Organizzativi in TEle-ecocardiologia - F.Cabras, R.Triunfo, F.Frexia, S.Monni, P.Neroni, S.Montis, R.Tumbarello - Poster Riunione Scientifica Regionale 2011 della Società Italiana di cardiologia, Sezione Sardegna - Ottobre 2011.

COTS technologies for telemedicine applications - R. Triunfo, R. Tumbarello, A. Sulis, G. Zanetti, L. Lianas, V. Meloni, F. Frexia - International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery, 5(1): 11-18, jan 2010.

Francesca Frexia e Francesco Cabras, Applicazioni di telemedicina in real-time: il caso d'uso della tele-ecocardiologia e gli sviluppi futuri. Collana Seminari per la valorizzazione dei risultati della ricerca al CRS4, Cagliari, 25 Ottobre 2012.

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