Novel diagnosis orienting tele working systems manipulate, store, and process medical data through real time communication - conferencing schemes. One of the most important factors affecting the performance of these systems is image handling. Compression algorithms can be applied to the medical images, in order to minimize : a) the volume of data to be stored in the database, b) the demanded bandwidth from the network, c) the transmission costs, and to minimize the speed of the transmitted data. In this paper an estimation of all the factors of the process that affect the presentation of breast images is made, from the time the images are produced from a modality, till the compressed images are stored, or transmitted in a Broadband network (e.g. B-ISDN). The images used were scanned images of the TOR(MAX) Leeds breast phantom, as well as typical breast images. A comparison of seven compression techniques has been done, based on objective criteria such as Mean Square Error (MSE), resolution, contrast, etc. The user can choose the appropriate compression ratio in order to achieve the desired image quality. (authors). 12 refs, 4 figs.