Sunday, February 06, 2011

The First DIAGNOSTIC Radiology Application For Mobile Devices

It's because of MIM Software that I have an iPhone.  I convinced Mrs. Dalai that I needed one since MIM's first app for the iPhone 3G would allow remote viewing of PET/CT's.  Of course, I never actually used it for viewing, but I did proudly show off the fused PET/CT images to anyone who would look.

I've been in touch with MIM since those early days, although I'm sadly still not a full-fledged customer.  Still, I had the opportunity to help out with the final testing and FDA certification of their latest iPhone/iPad app.  Yes, I'm a qualified radiologist.  (Disclosure:  I received a $20 light meter to allow me to check the ambient levels in various parts of the house and outside for the test.)  On February 4, the final approval came through:
FDA clears first diagnostic radiology application for mobile devices
Provides wireless access to medical images for iPhone, iPad users
A new mobile radiology application cleared today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will allow physicians to view medical images on the iPhone and iPad manufactured by Apple Inc.

The application is the first cleared by the FDA for viewing images and making medical diagnoses based on computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and nuclear medicine technology, such as positron emission tomography (PET). It is not intended to replace full workstations and is indicated for use only when there is no access to a workstation. . .

Radiology images taken in the hospital or physician’s office are compressed for secure network transfer then sent to the appropriate portable wireless device via software called Mobile MIM. Mobile MIM, manufactured by Cleveland-based MIM Software Inc., allows the physician to measure distance on the image and image intensity values and display measurement lines, annotations and regions of interest.

In its evaluation, the FDA reviewed performance test results on various portable devices. These tests measured luminance, image quality (resolution), and noise in accordance with international standards and guidelines. The FDA also reviewed results from demonstration studies with qualified radiologists under different lighting conditions. All participants agreed that the device was sufficient for diagnostic image interpretation under the recommended lighting conditions.

The display performance of mobile devices can experience significant variations in luminance levels even between mobile devices of the same model. The Mobile MIM application includes sufficient labeling and safety features to mitigate the risk of poor image display due to improper screen luminance or lighting conditions. The device includes an interactive contrast test in which a small part of the screen is a slightly different shade than the rest of the screen. If the physician can identify and tap this portion of the screen, then the lighting conditions are not interfering with the physician’s ability to discern subtle differences in contrast. In addition, a safety guide is included within the application.
The app takes the thick client approach, or as thick as you can get with the iPhone/iPad, and it does function smoothly.  While it is a bit spartan relative to the full desktop program, but it does provide enough tools to truly perform a diagnostic read.  And that's now legal, thanks to the FDA.

I do have to add that while the app is free, the desktop software required for operation isn't, but for what it does, I think it's price is pretty reasonable.

However, there is another option, as MIM reminded me after this post first went up:

Appreciate the mention in your blog.

I feel obligated to mention that desktop software is not required for its operation. You may recall that you accessed MIMcloud for your clinical study.  The cloud is how most people will use it, and its an inexpensive "pay as you go" option.

We are already pushing to complete MIMcloud 2.0 which makes managing groups and individuals for sites way more convenient, as well as making the MIMcloud interface much more friendly (tricky business encrypting and decrypting data on demand in a timely manner...). We plan for that in the next few months.

People wanting to use MIMcloud now can either manually browse to, and upload files (from their computer) right from the MIMcloud website, or get a hold of a MIM 5.1 beta and try it out that way. MIM 5.1 integrates with cloud and makes it simpler.

For MIMcloud 2.0, we'll also have a simple utility which makes your MIMcloud as easy to access as a DICOM node on your local network. That will boil it down to pure-simple for those users who don't ultimately end up using MIM workstations.

Congratulations to MIM for this milestone.  This may well be the first of many, but it is certainly worthy of your attention.

Being away from your workstation is no longer an excuse.


g said...

hi doc, any idea what the workstation price is?

Dalai said...

You should probably get that straight from MIM Software...