By Trevor Bromley
Medical imaging has grown by leaps and bounds over the decades.
The initial foray starting with X-ray with film has expanded to MRI, digital image capture, cloud-based image storage and more. Artificial intelligence is also being tapped to play a larger part. But up until recently, limitations due to requirements of what imaging studies could be displayed on and where those displays were housed kept radiologists tethered to a location that offered workstations and the other tools of the trade. Even teleradiology, which commonly enlists the help of professionals in different time zones to read imaging studies, still limited many physicians to being near an office or hospital where they could access and read the images at a workstation. That’s why the announcement in early 2020 from EBM technologies should be of great interest to organizations wishing to obtain the services of topnotch radiologists. It should also be of interest to those professionals who want to continue in their careers, but may be migrating away from metropolitan areas, as many have considered doing during the pandemic.
EBM technologies, a developer of software and medical information solutions, has developed a Ubiquitous Diagnostic Environment (UDE) App and released it commercially in 2020. The UDE allows users to convert iPad Pros into standalone radiology medical-grade imaging viewers, displays and servers. The take-away is that these capabilities allow radiologists much more flexibility in where they work, untethering them from the traditional workstation locales.
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To manage the feat, a radiologist would utilize a pair of iPad Pro tablets. Using the UDE and tablets, the radiologist can read, store and display all DICOM files, load transmitted DICOM data directly from PACS and other modalities, and support data transmission with third-party DICOM viewers. The app also allows users to manipulate images to focus on areas of interest in the study, and to measure and annotate images to call those areas of interest to the attention of others involved with the patient’s care. Those added capabilities help to increase the ability to collaborate with colleagues regardless of how widespread the team is.
Built-in AI and pushed out data
The UDE app also offers embedded AI models to assist with screening efforts. As those AI models continue to tap into more data, the assistance becomes more and more valuable to the user.
Customizable first in, first out settings allow users to manage DICOM data stored on the iPad Pros. The data can also be backed up to a cloud server for redundancy or to preserve space on the iPad. Like EBM Technologies’ remote reading system, Rad@, that was granted FDA clearance in 2017, the UDE app is FDA approved and is in the final stages of obtaining CE approval. Both Rad@ and the UDE app are also vendor neutral allowing users to incorporate it into their workflow regardless of the imaging equipment vendor they utilize.