Value of interactive scanning for improving the outcome of new-learners in transcontinental tele-echocardiography (VISION-in-Tele-Echo) study

Manish Bansal, Shaanemeet Singh, Puneet Maheshwari, David Adams, Marti L. McCulloch, Tanuj Dada, Shantanu P. Sengupta, Ravi R. Kasliwal, Patricia Pellikka, Partho P. Sengupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Point-of-care (POC) echocardiography may be helpful for mass triage, but such a strategy requires adequately trained sonographers at the remote site. The aim of this study was to test the feasibility of using a novel POC echocardiography training program for improving physicians' imaging skills during preanesthetic cardiac evaluations performed in a community camp organized for treating cataract blindness. Methods: Seventeen physicians were provided 6 hours of training in the use of POC echocardiography; nine were taught on site and eight were taught online through a transcontinental tele-echocardiography system. The trained physicians subsequently scanned elderly patients undergoing cataract surgery. The quality of images was graded, and agreement between local physicians' interpretations and Web-based interpretations by worldwide experts was compared. Results: A total of 968 studies were performed, with 660 used for validating physicians' competence. Major cardiac abnormalities were seen in 136 patients (14.2%), with 32 (3.3%) deemed prohibitive to surgery in un-monitored settings. Although good-quality images were obtained more frequently byphysicians trained on site rather than online (P = .03), there were no differences between the two groups in agreement with expert interpretations. The majority of physicians (70.6%) expressed satisfaction with the training (average Likert-type scale score, 4.24 of 5), with no difference seen between the two groups. The training resulted in significant improvements in self-perceived competence in all components of POC echocardiography (P < .001 for all). Conclusions: This study establishes the feasibility of using short-duration, one-on-one, personalized transcontinental tele-echocardiography education for wider dissemination of echocardiographic skills to local physicians in remote communities, essential for optimizing global cardiovascular health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-87
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Focused ultrasound
  • Tele-echocardiography
  • Tele-education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Medicine(all)

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