Heart Imaging Technologies (HeartIT) announced today that medical images can be viewed on Apple’s new iPhone. Physicians can simply click on a web link sent via email by one of their colleagues, enter their password, and, for example, instantly view movies of a patient’s beating heart halfway around the world. They can even put their colleagues on speakerphone and carry on a medical consultation while simultaneously browsing through the imaging results.
Viewing medical images traditionally requires dedicated workstations costing tens of thousands of dollars, which in turn are connected to proprietary picture archiving communications and storage (PACS) systems costing millions of dollars more. In order to view medical images, physicians must literally drive or walk to one of these workstations. Recent advances in World Wide Web browser technologies and the web sites that utilize their rich features, collectively referred to as Web 2.0, are challenging these expensive and cumbersome proprietary approaches.
Medical images displayed in a web browser have traditionally been of lower quality and therefore had limited diagnostic utility. This technology is the first to provide physicians with the ability to drill-down and view medical images, including movies, on a hand-held device.
“Patient privacy is obviously a critically-important issue on the internet,” said Brent Reed, HeartIT’s Director of Software Development, in the press release. “Fortunately, medical privacy concerns can be addressed using the same encryption technologies employed by online banking and credit card transactions.”
Heart Imaging Technologies’ headquarters are located near North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. Formed in 2000, HeartIT provides web-based medical image management services and computing systems to regional health care systems, large hospitals and private clinics as well as drug and device companies sponsoring multi-center clinical trials. Worldwide, HeartIT’s systems currently provide secure web browser access to over 50 million medical images.
See examples here.