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Year : 1999  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 191-194
Radiology education resources on the internet


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How to cite this article:
Kalidindi SR. Radiology education resources on the internet. Indian J Radiol Imaging 1999;9:191-4

How to cite this URL:
Kalidindi SR. Radiology education resources on the internet. Indian J Radiol Imaging [serial online] 1999 [cited 2014 Dec 29];9:191-4. Available from: http://www.ijri.org/text.asp?1999/9/4/191/28352
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 [1].

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 [2]. 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 Top


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 [3]. 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 [4].

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 Top


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 [6].


   Continuing Medical Education Top


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 [4].

On-line CME courses offer at least two potential advantages. They are extremely

convenient and relatively inexpensive [7]. 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 Top


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 [8].

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 Top


Telemedicine is defined as the "delivery of health care and sharing of medical knowledge over a distance using telecommunication systems"[9]. 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 [10]. 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 [11].


   Journals and Professional Organizations Top


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 [2]. 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 [12]. 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 Top


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 Top


Web addresses for sites mentioned in the text are listed below, organized by paper subheadings.


   * Teaching Files Top


University of Washington Radiology Teaching File Server

http://www.rad.washington.edu/


   * Multimedia Text Books Top


University of Iowa Networked Multimedia Text Books

http://vh.radiology.uiowa.edu/

CHORUS : http://chorus.rad.mcw.edu/


   *CME Top


Available on the home page of the Departmental server of Washington University http://www.rad.washington.edu/


   *Searching Top


Dedicated Radiology Server http://glimpse.cs.arizona.edu/radiology.html


   Medline Top


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Pubmed/


   Other Medically Oriented Search Sites Top


Medscape

http://www. medscape.com/home/search/ search.html

Medical World Search:

http://www.mwsearch.com

Med Web

http://www.medweb.emory.edu/

Health Seek

http://www.healthseek.com

Health Web

http://www.healthweb.org


   General Sites Top


Yahoo

http://www.yahoo.com/Health/Medicine


   *Teleradiology Top


Remote conference System for Image Diagnosis

http://www.medimaging.com/consult/ services.html


   *Journals and Societies Top


ARRS Home Page

http://www.arrs.org

AJR

http://www.arrs.org/ajr

RSNA Home Page

http://www.rsna.org.


   *Indian Resources Top


The Bhatia General Hospital's MRI centre http://www.mribhatia.com

Dr. Jankharia's Imaging Center

http://www.jankharia.com

The Radiology Education Foundation:

http://www. refi ndia. net

The Indian Journal of Radiology and Imaging

http://www.ijri.org

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 Top

1.Glowniak J. History, structure and function of the Internet. Sem Nucl Med 1998; 28: 135-144.  Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  
2.Wood BP. Electronic AJR on the World-Wide Web; www.arrs.org/ajr.htm. AJR 1997; 168: 606.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Richardson ML. A World-Wide Web Radiology teaching file server on the Internet. AJR 1995; 164: 479-483.  Back to cited text no. 3  [PUBMED]  
4.Wallis JW, Parker JA. Use of the Internet for teaching in Nuclear Medicine. Semin Nucl Med 1998; 28:165176.  Back to cited text no. 4  [PUBMED]  
5.Alessandro MP, Lacey DL, Galvin JR, Erkonen WE, Santer DM. The networked multimedia textbook: distributing radiology multimedia information across the Internet. AJR 1994; 163: 1233-1237.  Back to cited text no. 5  [PUBMED]  
6.Kahn CE Jr. Decision aids in Radiology. Rad Clin North Am 34: 1996.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Richardson ML, Norris TE: On-line delivery of Continuing Medical Education over the World-Wide Web: an on-line needs assessment. AJR 1997; 168, 1161-1164.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Weinberger E, Member U. Efficient searching for specific resources on the World Wide Web: creation of a search server for radiologists. AJR 1996; 166: 1265-1267.  Back to cited text no. 8    
9.Thrall JH, Boland G. Telemedicine in practice. Semis Nucl Med 1998; 28: 145-147.  Back to cited text no. 9  [PUBMED]  
10.Goldberg MA: Teleradiology and Telemedicine. Rad Clin North Am. 43: 647-665, 1996.  Back to cited text no. 10    
11.Ohki M, Tsuru M, Yamada T: A remote conference system for Image Diagnosis on the World-Wide Web. AJR 1997; 169: 627-629.  Back to cited text no. 11    
12.Ackermen LV. RSNA EJ : A supplement to Radiographics and a new venture in Radiologic Publishing. Radiology 1996; 198: 13.  Back to cited text no. 12    

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Correspondence Address:
Sreenivas Raju Kalidindi
K-16, Gladstone Avenue, Manor Park, London E126
United Kingdom
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