Teleradiology Network Ruhr permanent in Germany

A regional teleradiology network in Germany, the Teleradiology Network Ruhr (TNR), officially became a permanent service last week, two years after its launch at the 2010 Radiologie-KongressRuhr as a pilot program.

Barbara Steffens, minister for health, equalities, care, and aging in North Rhine-Westphalia, made the announcement on 16 October while attending an event at the University Hospital Knappschaftskrankenhaus Bochum.

TRN, which utilizes a system from German PACS developer Visus, was initiated by the healthcare industry in the Ruhr area. The pilot was initiated by Radiology Network Rheinland (RNR), which operates a network of healthcare centers and medical offices in more than 25 sites across 15 cities of North Rhine-Westphalia.

TNR is planning to expand. The teleradiology model is being presented in Ostwestfalen, Sauerland, and Münsterland, as well as other healthcare institutions in the Rhineland. Anticipated adoption of the teleradiology service may expand the network to approximately 100 facilities by the end of 2013, according to MedEcon Telemedizin.

Also, TeBiKom.Ruhr, a project by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to develop the current TNR platform to include additional applications such as cardiology, stroke care, and/or trauma care, intends to add clinical functionality beyond teleradiology.

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