U.S. FDA clears first diagnostic radiology application: Mobile MIM for iPhone and iPad

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.

“This important mobile technology provides physicians with the ability to immediately view images and make diagnoses without having to be back at the workstation or wait for film,” said William Maisel, M.D., M.P.H., chief scientist and deputy director for science in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in the press release.

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.

Outside of the US, Mobile MIM is available in 14 languages and in the following countries:
• Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
• Asia Pacific: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore.
• Middle East and India: India, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E.
• Latin America and the Caribbean: Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay

More info about Mobile MIM here.

More info about MIM 5 for Mac here.

MacDailyNews Take: Quacks with pretend iPhones and fake iPads need not apply.


  1. MIM on some overpriced, toy iPad? Pffft. They could have used an off-the-shelf $250 Windows netbook and gotten the same results or better while running a Flash-based animation in the lower corner.

    The iPad doesn’t even come equipped with a stylus to manipulate the images and make notations around the cancerous mass. I’m afraid doctors and hospitals are going to hate this ridiculously useless iPad package. Just wait until the first new wave of Moorestown-powered Windows Slates are announced. They’ll be sorry they didn’t wait.

    Apple and the hospitals really blew this one. Look for lots of malpractice suits as a result. Watch for Bill Gates dream tablet at a Microsoft retail store near you. Both the retail store and the tablet, coming soon, right next to your going-out-of-business Apple retail store.

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