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Sarawak Medical Image Transfer system for Orthopaedics

History of BHN telemedicine system in Malaysia

Since the installation of a telemedicine system in Sarawak state in Malaysia in 2000, we were aiming to expand the system to cover the state of Sarawak until 2004. The system was in operation until late 2007 when a new Tele-consultation system was introduced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Malaysia.


After Sarawak, BHN installed in 2008 a new telemedicine system in Sabah state, connecting Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabaru and Tawau Hospital in the east cost of Sabah state. But the system had to face some problems such as troubles with the image scanner at the beginning of the operation. Meanwhile, a Tele-consultation system was installed in Sabah state by MOH in 2009. As a result, utilization of the BHN system gradually decreased.

Therefore, we decided to relocate the system to the State of Sarawak in order to seek more effective utilization.

Completion of the system relocation to the State of Sarawak


In Sarawak state, there is already an image transfer system (called Tele consultation system) introduced by the MOH, however, this system is dedicated to brain surgery and heart surgery departments only, so that orthopaedics in the hospitals could not benefit from the system.


After investigation of medical needs, and discussions with orthopaedics specialists, we decided to relocate our system in Sabah state to the department of orthopaedics in the hospitals in Sarawak since the system fitted well with the mode of operation and the good communication exchange between doctors in the central hospital and rural hospitals.



Installation of the Sarawak Medical Image Transfer system for orthopaedics connecting Miri Hospital and Sarawak General Hospital (S.G.H.) in Kuching, the capital city of State of Sarawak Malaysia, was completed on 25 July 2012.


Uploading speed to the server improved remarkably as compared to the time when the system was installed in Sabah, since the server this time is located in Miri hospital where the client resides. It takes only several tens of seconds to transfer an image from orthopaedics room to the server located in the server room. It will improve system usability and reliability dramatically. The result of the image downloading and viewing test from S.G.H. was good as expected.


At orthopaedics department of Miri Hospital, we trained physicians (5 persons) on the usage of the system including scanning of transparent films, DICOM (Standard for Digital Imaging and Communications used in medical field) image viewer and image transfer to the server. We also gave training on system maintenance to engineers at the ICT department.


 Server room of Miri Hospital   


At Sarawak General Hospital, training on how to view or download images from the server was given to physicians and MAs (medical assistant) at the orthopaedics department. We also held training in the telemedicine department on the management of the system.


Along with the installation in Miri Hospital and Sarawak General Hospital, client computers were also delivered to Bintulu Hospital and Sibu Hospital in Sarawak, but they are used only for viewing images of Miri Hospital due to license regulation. Therefore, they will be used for the education of doctors. The systems in these hospitals will be extended and incorporated into the total system when we confirm the success of the Miri system.


Takashi YOKNO, Counselor


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