|Year : 1999 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 191-194
|Radiology education resources on the internet
Sreenivas Raju Kalidindi
K-16, Gladstone Avenue, Manor Park, London E126, United Kingdom
Click here for correspondence address and email
|How to cite this article:|
Kalidindi SR. Radiology education resources on the internet. Indian J Radiol Imaging 1999;9:191-4
During the last several years, the Internet has become enormously popular and the number of users in the world is increasing rapidly. The Internet is a major tool for sharing computer resources and for communication between individuals and scientific institutions. It also contains enormous quantities of medical information and knowledge. Today, the Internet offers a variety of radiological resources that supplement and extend information from current sources like books and periodicals. Current radiological applications are already established for training and review purposes. Also, the Internet offers extensive databases that can be accessed at any time. A better understanding of how to use this new medium will spur continued expansion in the use of the Internet for Radiology Education.
One of the most striking innovations in medical practice and research is the advent of telecommunications. Any type of information that can be represented in textual, graphical or pictorial form can be digitized and transmitted electronically over vast distances. Computer networks are an essential component of telecommunications. The most widely used computer network today and the one that is continually becoming pervasive in medicine, is the Internet. The Internet is a global computer network that connects numerous small networks. As of January 1998, there were an estimated 29.7 million computers on the Internet .
The Internet is not only a rapidly growing forum for communication and publishing but also a growing educational vehicle for interactive educational ventures, self-assessment, customized learning and access to educational material for professionals who might otherwise not be able to participate in an educational program . The Internet can therefore serve as a valuable resource to the world wide radiology community and can play an important role in the training of residents. This article briefly introduces the various radiology educational resources available on the Internet. When web addresses (also known as Uniform Resource Locators, URLs) are available for the sites mentioned in this review, a star symbol (*) has been inserted to indicate that the full URL is listed in the appendix.
| Online Teaching Files|| |
Radiology departments have traditionally used film-based collections of interesting cases for teaching purposes. Film-based files are expensive to create and duplicate and they physically occupy considerable space . Creation of on-line radiology teaching files, solves these problems.
Although teaching files potentially can be a very important source of education, development of a good teaching file material is quite labor intensive. By using the Internet, the work of developing a teaching file can be distributed over a large number of institutions anywhere in the world. `World experts' in every field can supervise cases .
An example is the Radiology Teaching File Server created by the department of Radiology, University of Washington*. The use of "mosaic" and the World Wide Web format have resulted in an easy to use hypertext interface to the Internet. This allows even persons with little computer experience to navigate through the Internet, read text files, view images and download files by merely pointing with the mouse and clicking on items of interest. They invite the world wide radiology community to access these files and to submit cases from their own teaching files to share with the rest of the world. The site also has several modules on line for teaching normal anatomy.
| The Networked Multimedia Textbooks|| |
A multimedia textbook is a computer program that simulates a printed textbook while providing a large number of additional features like video and sound clips and interactivity. A collection of such multimedia textbooks is available on the University of Iowa website*
CHORUS* (Collaborative Hypertext of Radiology) is a multi-author, multi-institution radiology hypertext published via the Internet. In addition to conventional hypertext features, CHORUS uses the Internet to facilitate submission, review and publication of new documents. It allows and encourages users to work together to share knowledge.
Users can send comments about a document to the document's author and CHORUS editors. It provides more than 1100 documents that describe diseases, radiological findings, differential diagnosis lists and pertinent anatomy, physiology and pathology .
| Continuing Medical Education|| |
Continuing medical education (CME) via the Internet is starting to become available. The combination of text/graphic image display and the use of Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) forms allow registered users to answer questions regarding presented material by clicking on buttons .
On-line CME courses offer at least two potential advantages. They are extremely
convenient and relatively inexpensive . An on-line CME neither requires spending thousands of rupees in travel or hotel costs nor spending time away from the practice or family. On-line CME courses can be easily provided in multimedia format, including text, images video and sound clips. One of these CME courses can be accessed from the home page of the Department of Radiology, University of Washington*.
| Searching|| |
Accessing information on the Internet and World Wide Web (WWW) is becoming more and more common and convenient. Several Radiology departments have made radiology teaching files and other useful information available on the Internet. As the number of radiology sites increase, sifting through them to access specific information becomes a major problem .
Query servers have been developed* that will automatically gather information from many radiology sites and provide flexible search capabilities. Use of such servers dedicated to radiology, is an efficient way to search the Internet for radiology resources.
Since June 1997, the National Library of Medicine has made MEDLINE* available free of charge via the Internet. Other medically oriented search sites include Medscape*, Medical World Search*, MedWeb*, HealthSeek*, HealthWeb*, etc.
Radiology information can also be found from General Search Sites like Yahoo*. To get to radiology, a user can navigate through Medicine (listed under "Health") and click on "Radiology".
| Teleradiology|| |
Telemedicine is defined as the "delivery of health care and sharing of medical knowledge over a distance using telecommunication systems". Teleradiology is the most commonly deployed telemedicine service and the rapid conversion in the medical imaging world, from analog methods to digital methods, has facilitated the practice of teleradiology . A teleradiology system using the Internet would allow remote consultation with expert radiologists. Such systems* allow a physician to transmit clinically useful images to an expert radiologist at a different location who can see them on a web browser and discuss the diagnosis with the physician .
| Journals and Professional Organizations|| |
The Internet represents an important new publishing paradigm. Increasingly, publishers of journals, magazines, and newspapers are developing a web presence that both enhances and mirrors their print edition.
The benefits of the World Wide Web publishing include immediate delivery; cost savings; interactivity; multimedia using animation; video and audio; exciting graphics and relational links . A large number of journals and organizations are now present on the Internet.
Only a few examples are mentioned below.
a) Electronic AJR: The American Journal of Roentgenology is available on the Internet. For access, point your browser to the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) Home Page* and you can go from there to explore many features. The AJR web site offers some of the content of the current AJR plus links to the archives of the AJR. Additional content, enhancing the electronic AJR is a "Case of the week" to use to test yourself, an "Imaging Review" section that reviews basic radiological material from previous AJR editions and categorical courses.
b) RSNA EJ: The Radiological Society of North America has launched an electronic journal that is created and distributed on the Internet . The RSNA Electronic Journal or RSNA EJ is a supplement to "Radiographics". Authors will be required to submit their material in HTML over the Internet. Detailed guidelines for submission will appear on the RSNA Home Page* on the Internet.
| Indian Resources|| |
Several radiology specific Indian websites have started making their presence felt on the web in the recent years. Certain hospitals and imaging centers like the MRI Center at the Bhatia General Hospital*, and Dr. Jankharia's Imaging Center* are contributing to on-line radiology education by providing teaching files, interesting cases and other education material on their sites. The Radiology Education Foundation's site* contains several teaching resources and relational links. It also contains information about the foundation's forthcoming courses. Teaching files, cases and links can also be found at the Indian Journal of Radiology and Imaging website*.
| Appendix|| |
Web addresses for sites mentioned in the text are listed below, organized by paper subheadings.
| * Teaching Files|| |
University of Washington Radiology Teaching File Server
| * Multimedia Text Books|| |
University of Iowa Networked Multimedia Text Books
CHORUS : http://chorus.rad.mcw.edu/
| *CME|| |
Available on the home page of the Departmental server of Washington University http://www.rad.washington.edu/
| *Searching|| |
Dedicated Radiology Server http://glimpse.cs.arizona.edu/radiology.html
| Medline|| |
| Other Medically Oriented Search Sites|| |
http://www. medscape.com/home/search/ search.html
Medical World Search:
| General Sites|| |
| *Teleradiology|| |
Remote conference System for Image Diagnosis
| *Journals and Societies|| |
ARRS Home Page
RSNA Home Page
| *Indian Resources|| |
The Bhatia General Hospital's MRI centre http://www.mribhatia.com
Dr. Jankharia's Imaging Center
The Radiology Education Foundation:
http://www. refi ndia. net
The Indian Journal of Radiology and Imaging
Other Radiology References on the Internet: Because any site can link to any other site without formal permission, access to these collections is usually made from a familiar central site that has sufficient staff that can review, maintain and recommend worth while sites to pursue. The RSNA Link is an excellent starting site to consider with branching to educational sites from there. Alternatively, sites like http://www.radiologist.com can be used to access a large number of radiology website collections.
| References|| |
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Sreenivas Raju Kalidindi
K-16, Gladstone Avenue, Manor Park, London E126
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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