Testing telediagnostic obstetric ultrasound in Peru: a new horizon in expanding access to prenatal ultrasound

Marika Toscano, Thomas J. Marini, Kathryn Drennan, Timothy M. Baran, Jonah Kan, Brian Garra, Ann M. Dozier, Rafael L. Ortega, Rosemary A. Quinn, Yu T. Zhao, Miguel S. Egoavil, Lorena Tamayo, Claudia Carlotto, Benjamin Castaneda

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

24 Citas (Scopus)


Background: Ninety-four percent of all maternal deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and the majority are preventable. Access to quality Obstetric ultrasound can identify some complications leading to maternal and neonatal/perinatal mortality or morbidity and may allow timely referral to higher-resource centers. However, there are significant global inequalities in access to imaging and many challenges to deploying ultrasound to rural areas. In this study, we tested a novel, innovative Obstetric telediagnostic ultrasound system in which the imaging acquisitions are obtained by an operator without prior ultrasound experience using simple scan protocols based only on external body landmarks and uploaded using low-bandwidth internet for asynchronous remote interpretation by an off-site specialist. Methods: This is a single-center pilot study. A nurse and care technician underwent 8 h of training on the telediagnostic system. Subsequently, 126 patients (68 second trimester and 58 third trimester) were recruited at a health center in Lima, Peru and scanned by these ultrasound-naïve operators. The imaging acquisitions were uploaded by the telemedicine platform and interpreted remotely in the United States. Comparison of telediagnostic imaging was made to a concurrently performed standard of care ultrasound obtained and interpreted by an experienced attending radiologist. Cohen’s Kappa was used to test agreement between categorical variables. Intraclass correlation and Bland-Altman plots were used to test agreement between continuous variables. Results: Obstetric ultrasound telediagnosis showed excellent agreement with standard of care ultrasound allowing the identification of number of fetuses (100% agreement), fetal presentation (95.8% agreement, κ =0.78 (p < 0.0001)), placental location (85.6% agreement, κ =0.74 (p < 0.0001)), and assessment of normal/abnormal amniotic fluid volume (99.2% agreement) with sensitivity and specificity > 95% for all variables. Intraclass correlation was good or excellent for all fetal biometric measurements (0.81–0.95). The majority (88.5%) of second trimester ultrasound exam biometry measurements produced dating within 14 days of standard of care ultrasound. Conclusion: This Obstetric ultrasound telediagnostic system is a promising means to increase access to diagnostic Obstetric ultrasound in low-resource settings. The telediagnostic system demonstrated excellent agreement with standard of care ultrasound. Fetal biometric measurements were acceptable for use in the detection of gross discrepancies in fetal size requiring further follow up.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo328
PublicaciónBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
EstadoPublicada - dic. 2021


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