By: Michael Pineda, MD, FPCR
A practice that is not constrained by time and distance
I chose to become a radiologist because I wanted a more dynamic practice that was not held down by the constraints of the clinic or operating room. I wanted a flexible practice that allowed me to work whenever and wherever.
Expectations versus reality
Radiology hasn't always been flexible and technology-enabled. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to practice in the province of Nueva Vizcaya. If the hospital decided to stick to a traditional radiology practice using films, that would have meant my traveling back and forth for on-site reading, a 6-hour one-way trip, and patients would have to wait days or weeks for their results.
The difference with teleradiology
I’m glad the hospital eventually acquired a RIS PACS platform, LifeSys, that has allowed me to read studies on-site or on-the-go. I love how I can practice teleradiology even when I’m off-site. When I work in Manila, I can read the studies in Nueva Vizcaya remotely. It's even become more important nowadays, with the community quarantine guidelines that cities and provinces are following.
Due to the lockdown, the mobility of patients is hampered, but because of LifeSys, I can give immediate interpretation to patients waiting for their results, usually in under two hours on average. The patients are very happy with this since they do not need to come back to the hospital at a later time.
Truly, teleradiology has made a difference in the way I do my work and has helped me increase my love for radiology even more. In addition, teleradiology allows me to read more cases and to make a difference in more patient lives.
About the author:
Michael Pineda, MD, FPCR is a Philippine radiologist and is currently based in Nueva Vizcaya. He has been using teleradiology in his work even before the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, this allowed him to read cases for his provincial hospital even when he had engagements in Manila.