Nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and 62 percent of them have used their phone in the last year to look up information about health conditions. As both patients and physicians rely on mobile devices in their daily lives, they are seeking ways to use their mobile technology in healthcare as well. Both mobile radiology and cardiology have an opportunity to bring value to clinicians and patients even as technology adapts to support real-world applications.
Mobile Radiology and Cardiology Help Speed Care
Mobile imaging supports improvements to patient care. For example, rural hospitals may periodically use the expertise of offsite on-call radiologists. When a patient comes to the emergency department after a car crash, the radiologist’s access of CT scans on a mobile device helps allow for a faster response time. If there’s an intracranial hemorrhage, being able to view the CT scan on a smartphone or iPad can be faster than waiting for a computer to boot up and logins to be inputted. When speed is of the essence, mobile radiology or cardiology can facilitate faster study results and therefore faster care delivery.
Mobile Imaging May Support Value-Based Care
Mobile radiology and cardiology can be further used to support value-based care initiatives. Value-based care requires more frequent communication with patients, from educating them about managing conditions to monitoring them to prevent hospital readmissions. Sending a cardiology patient a comparison of their latest ECG and an older study with arrows pointing out differences in plaque buildup could reinforce the patient’s efforts to eat more healthfully.
“For better value-based care transitions consider a mobile and telehealth strategy,” says Geeta Nayyar, M.D. “Start thinking about implementing care transitions and care coordination tools for high risk patient populations. This will become very critical as you prepare for the future, since value-based healthcare is about keeping your patient healthy by preventing critical conditions and educating them in a timely manner.”
Mobile Radiology Must Incorporate Workflow
Studies have found that many mobile devices offer sufficient visual quality for radiology and cardiology images. A recent study compared medical imaging clarity on an iPad® 3 with an LED computer monitor. Participants rated the iPad higher overall than the computer monitors. However, a pilot program of mobile imaging found that few clinicians accessed the medical images when they were separate from workflow.
“[Vendors] focus more on the technological challenge of how to present the image on the mobile device and less about the workflow and what exactly do we try to achieve when we the clinician opens the mobile device,” says Tomer Levy, GM of McKesson Workflow and Infrastructure Solutions, in an article on HealthImaging. “You need immediate interaction with the physician … [and] workflows that could leverage mobility.”
For example, the McKesson CardiologyTM ECG Mobile is an ECG management app designed for emergency medical cases. It offers push notifications for STAT ECGs, allows users to view the full 10 seconds of a 12-lead ECG and also allows users to view current studies next to previous ECGs, side by side, for improved comparison.
Mobile Benefits Forthcoming
As vendors develop mobile imaging technology, there are a number of possibilities for its usage to support patient care. From facilitating faster access of studies to value-based care educational opportunities, mobile imaging has exciting potential. With a large number of Americans owning smartphones, mobile radiology and cardiology may bring value to both clinicians and their patients.
Read how mobile ECG technology is changing cardiologists’ workflow, enhancing productivity and helping to save lives.
If you’re going to RSNA this year, book a demo or meeting in advance to discuss how we can help you address your security workflow and interoperability needs, then visit McKesson booth 7313 in the North Hall.