|Digitalisation of radiological and non-radiological medical imagery in Catalonia has grown substantially in the last three years. According to the ICT Survey of the Map of Tendencies 2011, a Fundació TicSalut initiative, from the 58% of radiological studies stored in PACS in 2008, today 100% are saved. Specifically, 94% of the institutions of SISCAT, the Integrated Health System of the Network of Public Use of Catalonia, assure that they no longer print out x-rays. This tendency is motivated by the Medical Imagery Digitalisation Plan, driven by the Catalan Health Department and by the investments of the institutions in the digitalisation process.|
Catalan radiologists and doctors say that they consult the images of diagnostic tests in digital format from their workstations, without any need to print them. More specifically, 96% of the professionals of the 139 institutions that took part in the ICT Survey, as part of the Fundació TicSalut Map of Tendencies 2011, view them in digital format, and 97% say that they use a work list.
The efforts being made in Catalonia regarding non-radiological medical imagery digitalisation have also been seen. This is a process of great interest to hospitals. Once the medical records, videos and photographs have been digitalised, it will be possible to push forward telemedicine, teleassistance and the networks of professionals around the country.
At the present time, 100% of the 7.5 million radiological tests carried out each year have already been digitalised in the centres of the public assistance network in Catalonia, almost one annual test for each Catalan citizen. In fact, radiological PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication Systems) is becoming a global repository of all medical images in order to allow assistance professionals to gain access from the medical records of the centres and of the shared medical record in Catalonia (HC3).
At the present time, the images most widely digitalised and stored in PACS in Catalonia are electrocardiograms, OTC (Optical Tomography Coherence), non-radiological ultrasound tests and Otorhinolaryngology ORL. Bronchoscopies, spirometries and eco dopplers are digitalised in the centres in Catalonia but are not saved in PACS. The digitalisation culture is therefore spreading in Catalonia, something shown by the fact that 79% of SISCAT health providing institutions consider certain technical requirements regarding interoperability when they purchase these electromedical apparatuses.
The Office of standards and interoperability of the Fundació TicSalut and the Tecnocampus de Mataró support the health-care centres in the process of digitalising medical images through a centre of integration competencies. The data of the Map of Tendencies 2011 therefore show that the technology is mature enough for health institutions in Catalonia to be able to take an important step forward in terms of digital devices, PACS and well-defined healthcare processes.