A provider of advanced visualization solutions and Web-enabling platforms, Calgary Scientific says it has applied for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for using diagnostic tools on handhelds.
Sprint is also seeking certification to run ResolutionMD on its Samsung Epic 4G Galaxy S handset, which has sold more than 1 million units in the United States since its early August release.
ResolutionMD is a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)-compliant, Web-based application that allows clinicians to access images of X-rays, MRIs and CAT scans instantly without moving the image or data file locally to a handheld or PC, which can be lost or stolen.
ResolutionMD is compatible with any PC or mobile device and integrates into a PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System), RIS (Radiology Information System) or EMR (Electronic Medical Record) platform.
The two companies expect the application to save health care companies administrative costs by accessing medical images through the PureWeb cloud platform.
For this project, Sprint says it has combined its wireline IP network and 3G and 4G wireless networks to form a single platform for secure access to medical images.
"The mobile revolution we are seeing in health care is rivaled by few changes of this magnitude," Randy Rountree, Calgary Scientific's executive vice president of sales and marketing, said in a statement. "The change from film to digital imaging is one that comes to mind."
Doctors can also record high-quality video of consultations using ResolutionMD on the Evo 4G. This ability to treat patients remotely could help the elderly in particular, suggests Tim Donahue, Sprint's vice president of Industry Solutions. Rural areas could also benefit from the technology.
More and more solutions are being introduced to allow doctors and patients to connect remotely. In August, California formed what it calls the nation's largest telehealth network to deliver care to remote areas, particularly rural communities.
"As our nation's population ages, and the number of people with acute care requirements and chronic illnesses continues to grow, mobile technologies can enable caregivers to treat patients remotely and in a more cost-effective manner," said Donahue. "Our strategy is to provide a holistic communications environment that enables caregivers to access the information they need within the hospital or anywhere in the country covered by the Sprint 3G or 4G networks or WiFi."
The HTC Evo 4G phone, launched on June 4, was the first in the United States to run on the 4G network. It features a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, a 4.3-inch display, an 8-megapixel auto-focus camera with HD camcorder, and a forward-facing 1.3-megapixel camera.
"The Evo device is a large-screen device and has the kind of resolution necessary to do some diagnostic images," Shahid Shah, CEO of technology consulting firm Netspective Communications and author of the Healthcare IT Guy blog, wrote in an e-mail to eWEEK.
Shah noted that although mobile imaging technology has resided on Windows Mobile and Palm devices for more than a decade, it's notable for its emergence on the Android platform.
"These types of partnerships could propel the utilization of mobile devices in medical specialties, delivering critical information to physicians all over the world, in real time, without overburdening communications networks and increasing storage requirements to unreasonable levels," Donahue said.