ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the suitability of a no-cost system based on standard Internet technology components for teleradiology. The system was composed of free software (communication, DICOM viewer, compression) and standard off-the-shelf hardware components. For different image (CR, CT, MR) and network types (LAN and ISDN) the File Transfer, Audio and Video Conference, and Co-operative Work properties were examined and compared with the literature referring to standard complete packages and dedicated teleradiology systems. The main advantages of the no-cost system are: price; ease of use; independence from specific hardware; and potential connection to any possible partner. The performance of the File Transfer and the Audio and Video Conference was comparable to the other system groups with slight disadvantages in the usability. For Co-operative Work the employed "application sharing" technology does not meet the clinical requirements, which applies identically to the standard complete packages. Here the specialized systems prove superior, although they are proprietary. With minimal restraints the evaluated no-cost solution can be used for File Transfer and Conference scenarios. The usage for Co-operative Work with ISDN is not recommended, unless for the purpose of gaining experience or when dealing with small amounts of cases or images.
European Radiology 03/2003; 13(2):425-34. · 3.22 Impact Factor