SINTEF, in collaboration with American IT-company Kitware, has developed the world’s first communication system of its type. The system enables clinicians to interpret three-dimensional x-ray pictures together – at their respective hospitals via broadband Internet.

A pilot project is using the innovation to connect the radiography departments at Molde Hospital and St Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim. The system is being used to monitor the progress of patients who have undergone surgery for a thoracic aortic aneurysm. The elderly patients say they are grateful for the reduced travelling for follow-up consultations. The system has been trialled on five patients from Romsdal, and it meant they did not need to make the long journey to the hospital in Trondheim for post-operative consultations. Now they can stay in Molde and be checked from a far. Savings are also made on reduced hospital bed nights.

The next stage can lead to a reduction in hospital bed nights to an even greater extent. SINTEF research scientist Jon Harald Kaspersen, one of those who developed the new system, says it is also ideally suited for similar co-operation between smaller and larger hospitals, including when radiation treatment of cancer patients is being planned.