At the Radiological Society of North America conference, both GE Healthcare and Fujifilm Medical Systems, leading developers of medical imaging products, introduced technologies to advance how physicians can process and view medical images.
RSNA, which was held from Nov. 28 to Dec. 3, is an annual conference for the radiology industry.
Fujifilm has introduced Synapse Mobility, which uses the company's Synapse imaging applications to allow medical professionals to view 3D images on a mobile device or a PC's Web browser.
"In today's demanding and competitive health care environment, clinicians need more than just soft copy data; they need instant access to complete patient information regardless of whether they're in the reading room, at the bedside during rounds or in their homes," Jim Morgan, Fujifilm's vice president of medical informatics, said in a statement. "With Synapse Mobility, Fujifilm is further enhancing the delivery of care by enabling physicians to view the same high-quality, interactive images that could be seen at a Synapse workstation, but now in a convenient, readily accessible form factor."
Synapse Mobility is still in development, and Fujifilm plans to launch Synapse Mobility commercially in the first quarter of 2011. The software will be available on iTunes.
Meanwhile, also at RSNA, GE introduced its eHealth Image Exchange software to allow physicians-especially radiologists, oncologists, orthopedists and trauma physicians-to share images among various medical facilities' imaging systems, or PACS (picture archiving and communication systems).
"Now they can review that report and the key images in that system right within their EMR Web-based portal," Victoria Hodgkins, general manager of global marketing for GE Healthcare, told eWEEK. "They can go into their existing EMR system and pull up those images and consult with the patients."
Not having to rely on couriers, mail, fax or CD increases the speed of patient care, lowers the cost of care and reduces the need for duplicate exams, GE reports.
Doctors receive SMS or e-mail messages when images are ready for their review.
eHealth Image Exchange is based on the XDS (Cross Enterprise Document Sharing) standard, Hodgkins said.
"They often don't know when that material is available for them," Hodgkins said. "It's really about creating more seamless information that helps the physician."
Having an electronic image exchange should reduce duplicate exams, she explained. Physicians are able to access prior lab results.
"It's community based, extending the ability to share radiology outside the four walls of a hospital," Hodgkins said.
GE has launched eHealth Image Exchange in multiple countries and has major projects underway in the United Kingdom, France and Sweden. Each exchange incorporates images for many regional systems.
"We are partnering with regional health care organizations in Europe who are embracing the productivity and improved care coordination enabled by Image Exchange," Vishal Wanchoo, GE Healthcare's president and CEO, said in a statement. "Simply put, this is a solution that makes sense and will help change health care for the better around the world."
In September, Millennium Research Group reported that GE was a leader in the ultrasound imaging market for 2009 and would grow strongly through 2014.