Many medical offices and clinics are making the switch to teleradiology, whereby digital x-ray images are used in digital dicom format and can be transmitted over the Internet. As with all types of computer technology, advancements occur often, and 2009 was no exception. The following are a few of the highlights of news concerning medical imaging from last year.
The iPhone has taken the world by storm, and teleradiology appears to have made an impact with this device as well. From a study performed at the University of Virginia, it was shown that iPhones could be used with a mobile digital x-ray viewer to diagnose appendicitis. Interestingly, the study related that CT images in the same resolution in which they were captured initially from the modality were also seen by the iPhone in the same resolution.1
In a discussion held by author Mark Hagland with information technology and medical experts, the ideas of what is needed and how that will impact teleradiology were discussed. Software systems used in medical environments will need to offer multiple layers of usefulness for all of the different departments that use it. Everyone using the program wants optimized workflow, but with that comes security issues and even business issues, when multiple facilities use the same software for different purposes, and so software designers have a challenging job of creating programs that will work for everyone.2 It will be interesting to see what the future holds in terms of new software applicable for digital radiography environments.
The December 2009 issue of Diagnostic Imaging reports that Carestream Health is working on a PACS improvement that will utilize a unified global work list to accomplish cross-site reading. The upgrade offers enhancements such as the ability to add content to reports directly through voice commands or one mouse click, and an existing patient portfolio will, after the optimization, be able to display both dicom and non-dicom imported data.3
RIS programs have also received a new look from Swearingen Software. Their new RISynergy Web software enables medical personnel to use the web to remotely schedule patient procedures, as well as receive, edit and approve test results online.4
Much more in the progressive field of digital radiography is to come in 2010.