Questionnaire-based study showed that neonatal chest radiographs could be reliably interpreted using the WhatsApp messaging application

Itai Gross*, Yshia Langer, Yehonatan Pasternak, Wiessam Abu Ahmad, Smadar Eventov-Friedman, Benjamin Z. Koplewitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: We surveyed whether clinicians used the WhatsApp messaging application to view neonatal chest radiographs and asked a sub-sample to compare them with computer screen viewings. Methods: The study was conducted at three university-affiliated medical centres in Israel from June–December 2016. Questionnaires on using smartphones for professional purposes were completed by 68/71 paediatric residents and 20/28 neonatologists. In addition, 11 neonatologists viewed 20 chest radiographs on a computer screen followed by a smartphone and 10 viewed the same radiographs in the opposite order, separated by a washout period of 2 months. After another 2 months, five from each group viewed the same radiographs on a computer screen. Different interpretations between viewing modes were assessed. Results: Most respondents used WhatsApp to send chest radiographs for consultation: 82% of the paediatric residents and 80% of the neonatologists. The mean number of inconsistencies in diagnosis was 3.7/20 between two computer views and 2.9/20 between computer and smartphone views (p = 0.88) and the disease severity means were 3.7/20 and 2.85/20, respectively (p = 0.94). Neonatologists using WhatsApp only determined umbilical line placement in 80% of cases. Conclusion: WhatsApp was reliable for preliminary interpretation of neonatal chest radiographs, but caution was needed when assessing umbilical lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-100
Number of pages7
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Chest radiograph
  • Computer
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Smartphone WhatsApp


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