The Problem(s) that We Solve

There are several problems related to the transport, subsequent viewing and searching of DICOM images in a hospital or clinic environment:

Viewing at a Remote Location

Patient images are acquired through a variety of medical imaging systems as described above. The resulting DICOM images are typically fed into an electronic picture archiving and communications system (PACS) where they are generally stored locally on dedicated workstations or remotely on PACS servers, making their transfer to other users difficult. This is particularly problematic when the images are to be viewed at a location remote from where they were acquired on say another floor of the same building or another building or a distant medical campus or a remote international location.

Problems with Physical Transfer Media - Viewer Incompatibility Problems

CDs and DVDs are commonly used to transfer digital medical images. Aside from the fact that that such media can be misplaced or lost, specialised viewers are required on the ‘viewing’ computer to view the DICOM files. It is not uncommon for there to be hardware and software comparability problems when trying to view the images on the physician’s computer. In such cases, the images won’t load or simply can’t be viewed by the physician without the intervention of an Information Technology (IT) technician

Compatibility problems can also occur when a collection of images are sent as an attachment to an email to a foreign location in tele-radiology applications. Again, these compatibility problems can hamper timely viewing and interpretation of medical images and negatively impact the speed of the diagnosis process.

Lack of Ability to Add Meaningful Content and to Search for Content Associated with an Image

The volume of medical images for a specific patient can accumulate quite rapidly as he or she goes through a study employing several imaging techniques e.g. MRI, CT, PET. Further, the patient may go through a number of studies over time as the physician follows the evolution of a particular pathology over time. At this point, it can be extremely difficult to efficiently associate ‘content’ developed by the ‘interpreting’ physician regarding a particular medical image. To add to these difficulties, there is no current convenient method to search a medical image data base for a physician’s comments about a particular image on a specific patient or to search for a particular image artefact on an image or series of images. This can result in imaging procedures being repeated needlessly if a patient is referred to another physician and the requisite images can’t be located quickly.

It is difficult to associate content like a radiologist’s report with a specific image. Typically, this involves transcription of the radiologist’s dictated diagnosis, scanning of the resulting paper copy of the diagnosis and inclusion of the scanned report with the DICOM image file. The ability to open the scanned report is again affected by hardware and software capability problems at the ‘reading’ workstation. Also the comments on the scanned report are not searchable.

All of these situations result in needless delays affecting productivity with a resulting negative impact on the delivery of timely patient care and impacting hospital revenues

Interactive Medical Data System’ ScanWorks software provides a solution to these incompatibility and delay problems by giving the physician the ability to view, annotate and search for medical images when and where he wants to.

For a demonstration of how our solution might be able to assist you, please contact us at “Contact Us” link.