Automatic Digital Image Capture And Archiving: Where And Why We Drop The Ball, And How We Can Pick It Up Again | 12423
Otolaryngology: Open Access
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Otolaryngology involves the use of a number of sophisticated instruments to examine the upper aerodigestive system and ears. Although
it is easily possible to take digital images with most of the devices used to examine the ear, nose and throat, this is seldom undertaken
in current clinical practice, with drawings/diagrams usually being used to record clinical appearances. Drawings have, however, been shown
conclusively to be almost completely useless in the recording of pathology of the tympanic membrane and larynx. With the development
of cheap digital auriscopes, clinical images of the tympanic membrane can be captured very easily. Unfortunately archiving remains very
problematic. Traditionally, taking images to a storage medium meant images had to be manually labeled and stored with patient metadata
entered for each image. This made real-time image capture impractical for clinical purposes.
An Automatic Image Capture and Archiving System (AICAS) allows a clinician to capture images from any USB input i.e. digital
auriscope, output from endoscopic stack etc. and then automatically stores the images in a central database under the details of the patient
being examined. On review of the patient, all previous images are retrieved for comparison and new images can be added to the record
An AICAS system allows for the accurate recording of pathology using digital images which, in addition to providing an accurate
record, allows for transparent audit, patient involvement in treatment decisions, additional educational opportunities and the opportunity
to undertake large scale cross sectional and longitudinal studies of pathologies at no cost, using archived images. In this lecture, an AICAS
system is described and its introduction into clinical practice is detailed. All Otolaryngologists became familiar with the system within 90
minutes of its introduction and, after one week, the use of the system added a median of 11 seconds to each consultation. Feedback was
positive across all levels of use and the system remains in place in both hospitals.
Dr Pothier attended medical school at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He then undertook his Otolaryngology training in London and the South West of England. Fellowship trained in Neurotology in Toronto, Canada where he now works as anOtologist/Neurotologist with an interest in middle ear and vestibular disorders, as well as Health Informatics. He has a primary research interest in bilateral vestibular loss. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles and has a Bacon number of 4.
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