Rochester’s Clinic takes part in image share project

May 2, 2012 by  

In a preliminary report released by the oldest radiology society in the United States, a new image share project may provide physicians with live-saving medial information more expediently while giving patients more control over their health care.

The news of the project was released last month during the annual meeting of the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The project, which involves the participation of five major U.S. university hospitals and institutions, including the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, has been to organize the sharing of medical images and x-rays via “cloud” technology on the internet. Patients and physicians alike will have access to these images anywhere they are. Brochure printing to promote the program could be undertaken by print companies that work closely with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and distributed in imaging and diagnostic clinics across the country.

Information and reports can be downloaded into the patient’s personal health record on the web. If he or she wants a particular health care provider to view the images, a link can be emailed to the appropriate person to access and download x-rays, MRIs and other files as required.
In addition to the speed at which specialists can view patient image files, another unexpected benefit has come to light, according to the report. Patients would exposed to fewer scans and x-rays as previous examinations are readily accessible, transferable and don’t become lost in a shuffle of files by virtual storage on the “cloud”. Reduced exposure to radiation and unnecessary duplicate image requests would be a tremendous benefit.

The challenge by the participants in the image file sharing project, funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, is to maintain confidentiality of patient information and addressing privacy issues which vary from state to state.