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Live Video Diagnostics | A New Connecting Point for Doctors, Patients in Fight Against Breast Cancer

At the foundation of everything we do at vRad is the goal of helping our clients provide the highest level of patient care regardless of the time and location.

When it comes to breast imaging, we’ve used telemammography for years to open doors for patients without previous access to mammography fellows and specialists. It’s not hyperbole to call it a life-saving development in patient care.

But another one of the tenets at the heart of vRad is a drive to continually improve and innovate. And that led us to the introduction of Live Video Diagnostics in 2016.


Bringing doctors, patients face to face

As always, vRad is able to deliver a full suite of breast imaging services, including:

  • Digital screening mammography (2D and 3D tomosynthesis)
  • Diagnostic mammography
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Breast MRI

But with Live Video Diagnostics, through a partnership with Cisco, we’re able to bring vRad fellowship-trained, board certified breast imaging teleradiologists “face to face” with technologists and patients.

Through a live video feed, vRad radiologists are not only able to instantly review and annotate images in real time, they can also talk directly with technologists and patients as if they were in the same room.

“By bringing vRad radiologists in ‘face to face’ contact with our technologists, they can discuss specific images, plan detailed next steps and provide instant feedback on image quality or need for additional images while patients wait. We’re already seeing a reduced need to call patients back for additional imaging. ”  

Becky Wiscombe, Supervisor of Women’s Imaging, Medical Center Hospital, Odessa, Texas

Watch the video on our partnership with MCH.


Better communication

The most compelling advantage of this more personal model of care is that it facilitates much better communication.

For the technologist and radiologist, it allows for an on-the-spot, face-to-face discussion of additional images or areas of concern, while the patient, who may live hours away from the clinic, is still at the facility.

And because the same group of vRad radiologists works with each practice, they build the rapport and familiarity with the staff and patients that is so critical to good communication and patient care.


People, not numbers

For patients, Live Video Diagnostics offers a more personalized and compassionate experience.

It allows radiologists, technologists and patients to discuss the diagnostic results together—minutes after the images are taken—not days or weeks.

Questions and concerns are answered immediately—and personally. Although the doctor is not physically in the room, he or she can make a connection with patients, read their body language and help them process difficult or complex news.

They are a person with a name, not a patient with a number.


A rewarding introduction

In the year since vRad introduced Live Video Diagnostics, it’s been so rewarding to see and hear patients’ reactions to the program.

They tell us how grateful they are for the opportunity to talk directly to us and ask questions. They marvel at the technology that makes it possible.

But more gratifying is the number of patients who eagerly call their family members into the consultation room to “meet” me—the doctor on the other end of the live video feed.

The smiles and waves from people hundreds of miles away is confirmation that our goal of making this a much more personal experience for patients has most definitely been achieved.


Want to learn more about our video diagnostic solution? Check out the October 2017 issue of Radiology Today!

Author Arlene Sussman, MD

Medical Director, Breast Imaging. Dr. Sussman heads vRad breast imaging services, striving to make high quality diagnostic expertise accessible everywhere – from large urban to remote rural communities. Recognizing a lack of medical research specific to women, she chose her specialty to better represent them and to help advance the understanding of women’s health issues. Dr. Sussman is a frequent contributor to news organizations – from trade journals to CNN – where she advocates for breast health education and promotes the life-saving potential of regular mammograms.

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