In Sweden there are five sarcoma centres responsible for diagnosing and treating tumours mainly in the extremities, abdominal and trunk wall, and pelvis. In addition, they handle certain tumours of the abdomen and underlying organs as well as the spine, chest, neck and shoulder region. Sarcoma rounds are held locally at Nus once a week for patients from the Northern healthcare region. About 400 patients are referred annually to the orthopaedic clinic at Nus and most of these are discussed in this round.
At these rounds, representatives of oncology, pediatric oncology, orthopedics, radiology and pathology participate on a regular basis whereas contact nurses and candidates participate occasionally. Depending on the nature of cases, other specialties, such as ear, nose and throat, hand surgery, vascular surgery or general surgery are also engaged.
To enable participation of pathologists at every round, a sarcoma pathologist currently takes part in rounds from his home in Gothenburg. The pathologist connects via video using two computers to enable visualization of information from multiple sources. This solution permits full participation in the round, as well as the ability to view histo-pathological images scanned by pathologists at Nus and accessed remotely via a VPN connection. The pathologist also participates locally from Nus on a monthly basis. The other hospitals of the Northern healthcare region can also connect to this round but have not used this opportunity at the time of this survey.
This text has been originally released in the following report: Telemedicine Survey in the County Council of Västerbotten -An analysis of the present situation, conditions and areas of improvement.