Jeff Fleming, Vice President, Healthcare IT Americas, Carestream
When it comes to medical imaging, mobile applications may not be the first technologies that come to mind. But in the midst of a healthcare environment dominated by X-ray systems, RIS, PACS, CT, etc., mobile apps are beginning to poke their heads out of the ground, becoming an important tool to provide enhanced features to physicians. Last year at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine’s (SIIM) annual meeting, much of the discussion focused on mobile imaging for the radiologist and physician. While that is definitely important, it is time to include the patient in the conversation. We at Carestream brought that up in SIIM conversations last year and it is now up to vendors and medical professionals to get patients more involved in their own healthcare.
Recent studies have shown that 60% of patients want to connect with their physicians electronically, and mobile apps are becoming the most convenient and best way to provide this experience. In addition to communicating with their medical providers, patients are demanding online access to clinical data—a Harris Interactive poll claiming that 65% of patients consider this ability to be either “important” or “very important.” With this demand for digital capabilities so high, vendors must ensure that the design and user experience of these technologies is clean and simple to use so that patients get the most out of the use.
Much of the debate around how to create these apps centers on building them in a native operating system (OS), such as Apple iOS, or in a coding language like HTML5. Here at Carestream, we built our MyVue patient portal in HTML5 to ensure that users could access information via a Web browser on a desktop, laptop, or iPad.* The key capability for mobile applications must be accessibility—both for the patient and the medical professional. Limiting access and features to certain devices, while understandable from a development standpoint, is confusing from an access one. Versatility is the name of the game and it was an important focus of ours when building MyVue.
If there’s one trend that mobile devices have highlighted, it’s that people respond to richer content such as images and videos. Think of all of the photos and videos that have been downloaded, watched, and shared using mobile devices, and it becomes easy to see why access to medical images needs to head in this direction. Our culture has shifted to mobile. Healthcare is in the process of making the shift, and medical imaging needs to make sure it isn’t left behind.
At SIIM 2013, I’ll be participating in a session entitled “Medical Imaging? There’s an App for That!” The session will be held Thursday, June 6, from 2:45 pm–3:45 pm at the Longhorn Exhibit Hall Innovation Theater at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine (Dallas), Texas. The moderator is nationally recognized researcher and speaker Dr. David S. Hirschorn, Director of Radiology Informatics at Staten Island University Hospital.
You can go to the Carestream website for more information about our attendance at SIIM 2013 and the products we will be demoing.
* Among mobile devices, MyVue is based on Vue Motion technology, and the technology is FDA cleared for only the iPad
UPDATE – June 12, 2013: Below is an embedded version of the presentation I gave at SIIM on June 6, 2013.