RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Getting eUnity Medical Imaging Application

By Brian T. Horowitz  |  Posted 2010-10-27 Print this article Print

Adobe shows Client Outlook's eUnity medical imaging application in the first live demonstration of the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

At the Adobe MAX conference in Los Angeles, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch gave the first live demonstration of the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, showing how the tablet can fit into the medical field. 

He demonstrated the eUnity medical imaging app from health care application provider Client Outlook, showing how MRI images can be streamed wirelessly on the PlayBook while using finger gestures to zoom in or out of a medical scan.

At the conference, RIM launched its Tablet OS SDK for Adobe Air. Client Outlook is adapting its eUnity software for the Air platform. Mobihealthnews.com has a video of eUnity running on the PlayBook.

As part of an early access arrangement, Client Outlook is one of several BlackBerry Alliance members developing applications using the SDK for Adobe Air.

Client Outlook plans to combine Flash with the company's server technology to allow health care clients to render diagnostic images quickly on an ultraportable unit, Steve Rankin, Client Outlook's president and CEO, told eWEEK. 

"The form factor of the RIM device is absolutely perfect for health care," Rankin said. 

Still, whenever technology moves to a new platform, challenges result, he added. "It's a new type of device, and as such the capabilities of each of these devices will have to be considered carefully for whatever clinical use they're being touted for." 

The software, originally designed for Linux, Mac and Windows on the desktop, must be tweaked for the mobile environment to conform to the resolution, contrast ratio and luminance of the device, Rankin explained. 

To make the images available online, eUnity provides a single, or unified, interface to access medical images from a Flash-enabled Web browser, Rankin said. Separate systems won't be necessary for imaging, cardiology or scheduling. Images can be incorporated into EMRs (electronic medical records), he said. 

Client Outlook has adapted the eUnity software specifically for the PlayBook rather than other tablets such as the iPad because of its integration with security procedures in the enterprise, according to Rankin. "The power of the device and the clarity of the device are phenomenal," he added. "We were very impressed with it." 

With the development of eUnity on the BlackBerry tablet, Client Outlook hopes to add to a hospital's existing PACS (Picture Archive and Communication System) rather than replace it, Rankin noted. "We are here to help bring more value to their existing investment by allowing clinicians to access medical images regardless of their location." 

When RIM introduced the PlayBook at the BlackBerry Developer Conference on Sept. 27 in San Francisco, Mark Willnerd, president and CEO of health care applications developer TouMetis, gave a first glimpse at the PlayBook's potential in health care. He showed how orthopedic surgeons could use a BlackBerry PlayBook or smartphone to collaborate on designs for knee replacements. 

Brian T. Horowitz is a freelance technology and health writer as well as a copy editor. Brian has worked on the tech beat since 1996 and covered health care IT and rugged mobile computing for eWEEK since 2010. He has contributed to more than 20 publications, including Computer Shopper, Fast Company, FOXNews.com, More, NYSE Magazine, Parents, ScientificAmerican.com, USA Weekend and Womansday.com, as well as other consumer and trade publications. Brian holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in New York.

Follow him on Twitter: @bthorowitz


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