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Digital echocardiography laboratory 

Digital echocardiography laboratory
Chapter:
Digital echocardiography laboratory
Author(s):

Reidar Bjørnerheim

, Genevieve Derumeaux

, and Andrzej Gackowski

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198726012.003.0017
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date: 09 August 2020

Modern digital echo laboratories are based on echo scanners working in a network with file server(s) and work-station computers for offline analysis and reporting. They may be based on vendor-specific software, but are preferably based on vendor-independent software solutions, being able to handle data from all brands of scanners. To enable analysis of advanced echocardiographic techniques, plug-ins for vendor-specific solutions should be integrated in the otherwise vendor-independent software. To obtain full efficiency, the system should be integrated with the hospital information system for patient demographics and scheduling, and the approved report should automatically be returned to the electronic patient record without the need for scanning or other handling by manpower. To obtain this, a variety of standards have been developed, most of them for medical imaging in general. Scanners of all major brands deliver data compatible with those standards, even if compatibility problems may occur. When the optimal solution for the individual organization has been established, running the echo lab changes significantly. Digital images are stored on safe repositories without quality loss and are available for viewing outside the echo lab. Offline measurements, structured reporting, education, research, quality control, and financial analyses are available. The lab becomes more efficient and cost-effective.

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