China to begin tumor telepathology network on trial basis
Shanghai. September 29. INTERFAX-CHINA - China will start a tumor telepathology network on a trial basis starting from this year and lasting until 2013, according to a Ministry of Health (MoH) circular released Sept. 27.
Telepathology refers to pathology conducted at a distance using telecommunications technology.
The network is intended to improve the diagnosis and treatment of common tumors in city- and county-level hospitals and reduce medical expenses for patients, the ministry said.
According to the circular, by March 2011 expert committees will be set up to run the program and 10 hospitals will be selected to participate. From April 2011 to May 2013, another 40 hospitals will be selected to join the program.
As the program progresses, health authorities will designate medical institutions at national-, provincial- and city-level to act as tumor telepathology centers.
From June 2013 to September 2013, the initiative will be assessed and guidelines drawn up for its roll-out nationwide.
Remote consultation services have developed rapidly in China's medical institutions over the past several years due to increased investment in information technology.
In recent years, companies that have introduced telepathology image systems to the China market include Motic (Xiamen) Electric Group Ltd. and Xi'an Lianer Technology Co. Ltd.