Latvia Centre for Telemedicine
Our major specialists, professor U.Kalniňđ (Director of the Latvia Cardiology Centre), and I.Taivâns (Director of Lungs Physiology Laboratory) have shared their most positive opinions concerning the future of telemedicine in Latvia.

“… this system opens up new perspectives in the field of invasive cardiology, for coordination and development of both scheduled treatment and acute treatment, throughout the country.”

“…telemedicine is a very new and promising field in medical care: they have only started to introduce telemedicine in several countries in Europe and America.” The introduction of this system in Latvia would show intellectual potential and readiness for cooperation with other countries as far as health care is concerned.”

What is telemedicine about ?
Telemedicine is a medical data transmission and analysis by telephone (including cellular telephone). ECG CG–7000D (dimensions 168*80*40 mm, weight 450 g) is equipped with 12 standard leads. Heart’s electric potentials are transferred into sound signals that are later transmitted by phone to the Telemedicine Centre. The Centre’s computers transform the signals into the ECG that is seen on the screen, it being preserved in the memory and can can as well be printed out.

The Telemedicine Centre comprises:
• Personal Card Guard equipment used by patients for registration and to send data on the organs to be examined;
• The monitor centre or computer equipment set that receives data transmitted by patients;
• The acquired data is analysed by medical staff on duty. Any consultations required are provided round the clock.

Any of the following categories can become Telemedicine Centre’s subscribers:
• individual users;
• family doctors and private practitioners;
• medical institutions and first medical aid crews;
• collective customers;
• public institution clients (hotels, drugstores etc.)

Latvia Telemedicine Centre offers the following examinations:

  • For heart patients – four kinds of medical examinations:
    • 12 lead ECG;
    • one-month ECG control for registration of heart attacks;
    • in case of heart attacks: one lead ECG control;
    • pacemaker operation control;

  • For lung patients – complex external respiration characteristics determination:
    • system’s vital capacity;
    • accelerated vital capacity;
    • FEV1, FEV3, PEF, FEF25%, FEF50% and FEF75%.

Patients are taken care of by the Telemedicine Centre qualified doctors of various specialisations, round the clock. Objective data and subjective health complaints on actual state of health are analysed by telephone. In accordance with the analysis of data acquired, the doctor advises the patient on what to do in a particular situation: for instance, take medicine or call an ambulance.

Significance of telemedicine
• Be it the initial stage of a disease of acute condition, a telemedicine centre subscriber, a patient or a family doctor is entitled to a doctor’s consultation – already within several minutes – as soon as the data is transmitted to the telemedicine equipment. No other existing world’s medical aid system offers this kind of service. The present medical care services – emergency ambulance (especially in the countryside) or family doctor’s and the following cardiologist’s consultation are far behind telemedicine opportunities as far as time is concerned, in spite of the fact that in the case of heart diseases, the period between the moment of appearance of heart problem and the doctor’s consultation is critical. Israel shows very promising results already now: during the first years following the introduction of the system in the country, rate of heart and blood circulatory systems has fallen by 20%.
• One can be advised by the telemedicine doctor at any time in any part of the world, provided the patient has appropriate equipment.

Telemedicine advantages:
1. In case of emergency the time between the onset of disease until the first medical aid is reduced radically;
2. The measurement performed (for heart patients – electrocardiogram, for lung patients – spirogram) is a document not to be underestimated when diagnosing spontaneous diseases, for its further analysis and treatment;
3. The telemedicine centre creates a data base of each patient’s case history, confidential and password protected (the password is only known to the patient and his/her doctor). It is easily accessible 24 h a day, also through the internet;
4. Patients can be consulted on their state of health without interrupting their work or going to medical institutions;
5. Your medical care expenses will be reduced.

Latvijas Telemedicînas centrs
Hipokrata iela 2, Rîga, LV-1038
Phone: +371 5901002 e-mail: riga@telemed.lv

Medical data transmission and analysis by telephone (including cellular telephone)
From October 1, Latvia Telemedicine centre holds one/two-hour seminars for family doctors (free of charge) in order to introduce telemedicine technology to them.

For more information, please contact at +371 5901002, e-mail: riga@telemed.lv and the website on the internet: www.telemed.lv

Gunta Sileniece
cardiologist