Smartphones and tablets are so all-around useful they’ve become a necessity for most of us. But can that utility help in a clinical setting? The following three articles explore radiology resources accessible on mobile devices, tools that leverage mobile alerts and the potential of mobile apps for diagnostic imaging.
1. Hands-On Radiology: Five Essential Mobile Apps to Download Right Now
We’re used to using smartphones as cameras, e-readers, and game consoles. Just as smartphone apps enhance our leisure time, they can also be valuable tools for radiologists. In this Health Imaging article, columnist John Hocter identifies the apps currently available for iOS and Android that can assist radiologists.
Hocter’s recommendations include a massive collection of radiology resources, a diagnostic tool for lung cancer, and a productivity-increasing organization app. Whether they’re putting an entire medical library in the palm of your hand or enabling collaboration, these resources are far more valuable than your average candy-crushing or bird-flinging distraction.
2. Radiologists Must Be Aware, Vigilant with Mobile Devices
As useful as mobile apps are for radiology, there can be issues with using non-clinical software in a clinical setting. This article, a roundup of a presentation from Dr. Emanuele Neri at ECR 2016, addresses the technological limitations and security concerns that arise for radiologists looking to go mobile.
Per Neri, while it’s acceptable to occasionally read images on a smartphone or tablet, they should not be used in daily practice. Even then, only devices with a screen size of 9 inches or more, with a high-resolution display, are appropriate for medical imaging.
Neri also highlights security concerns with non-clinical social messaging apps like WhatsApp. Some health care systems use the app as an informal replacement for email, enabling instant communication. However, chat apps like WhatsApp lack the encryption to meet privacy standards for transmitting patient information. Neri ended the presentation with a look at federal regulations that concern using mobile devices for health care purposes.
3. Q&A: Radiologists at the Forefront of Mobile App Use
Radiologists have a reputation for being early adopters of new medical technology. So it makes sense for radiologists to be interested in the potential of mobile apps for diagnostic imaging. In this interview for Diagnostic Imaging, Dr. David Hirschorn discusses the present state-of-the-art for mobile apps, how they are perceived and used by radiologists, and how FDA regulations might shape the future of the technology.
Smartphones are a technological Swiss Army knife, with the ability to add tools and toys with just a quick tap into the App Store. With the right software—and the right infrastructure supporting it—mobile radiology can play a powerful role in modernizing diagnostic imaging.
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