Multimedia e-mail systems for computer-assisted radiological communication
AbstractIn the film-based organization of communicating radiological results to the referring physician, the different media (text, images, graphics, voice) are separated. When using computer technology, multimedia reports containing links between these different media can be used. This changes the way radiological reports are generated, accessed, and possibly discussed. We performed experiments in a clinical setting using two different metaphors tor communicating multimedia information. In the 'paper metaphor', labels in the report text are linked to annotations in selected images. In the 'slide presentation metaphor', annotated images are presented synchronously to a spoken report. With both systems additional interaction between radiologist and referring physician is supported using multimedia 'electronic mail'. The experiments indicate that multimedia does not only significantly increase the efficiency of information transfer, but also has the potential to make reporting itself more efficient. Given that the amount of image-related information keeps growing, multimedia links are a promising method to give efficient access to the most relevant information.