Greg Freiherr, Industry Consultant

Greg Freiherr has reported on developments in radiology since 1983. He runs the consulting service, The Freiherr Group.

Blog | Greg Freiherr, Industry Consultant | Information Technology| September 07, 2016

How Smartphones Can Make Radiologists Even Smarter

Graphic courtesy of Pixabay

Athletes warm up before a workout or game. But how might intellectuals get ready? There may be a way. And it may involve smartphones.

Research reported in the January 2015 issue of Current Biology suggested that smartphone use might warm up the cortex, reporting evidence that “an episode of intense (smartphone) use is transiently imprinted on the sensory representation. We propose that cortical sensory processing in the contemporary brain is continuously shaped by the use of personal digital technology,” the researchers concluded.

The key to stimulating the cortex — and the beneficial plasticity therein — may be repetitive finger stimulation, which suggests using smartphones may be no better than, say, playing the piano or guitar. It is beyond debate, however, that smartphones can go way beyond tickling ivories or plucking strings, as far as making professionals more effective. And that goes especially for radiologists.

Thousands of smartphone applications provide access to clinical references, medical education and decision-making tools. Many have been created specifically for radiologists. Some extend PACS and teleradiology, allowing radiologists to read images on personal digital devices, such as smartphones. Among them are zero-footprint viewers, such as Carestream’s Vue Motion, which uses a Web browser or information embedded in an electronic medical record portal, and ResolutionMD (Calgary Scientific), an enterprise image viewer that securely displays patient images.

 

Inexpensive Radiology Apps

These tend to be a bit pricey, but not other smartphone apps, which may cost just a few bucks or nothing at all. Many of the best known are available to iPhone users.

Diagnostic Radiology (Version 1.3, iTunes) promises a dynamic approach to abdominal radiology. It is described as fully interactive, offering extensively annotated, real clinical datasets that illustrate key concepts in abdominal anatomy and pathology.

Radiology Assistant (Version 1.4.3, iTunes; Android Version) has been around for a few years, helping radiologists download reference articles, which it categorizes by anatomy. The files download from the Radiology Assistant website hosted by the Radiological Society of the Netherlands and are stored on the smartphone.

Radiology 2.0: One Night in the ED (Version 1.0, iTunes) presents teaching files. The cases support the simulated reading of CT scans at a PACS workstation.

Radiopaedia (Version 1.1, iTunes) evolved from a series of Radiopaedia.org teaching files. The app allows users to view hundreds of cases, which they can then attempt to interpret. Each case provides questions, explanatory text, and reference articles.

Radiology Toolbox Pro (Version 2.00.02, iTunes) is a collection of charts, diagrams, and calculators used in radiology reading rooms. Its developer, Eric M. Baumel, a practicing radiologist, says the app is designed for everyday use by practitioners in and outside radiology, as well as students.

Lung Cancer Screening Guide with Lung-RADS (Version 3.0.2, iTunes) is described as being a simple, intuitive and “uncompromising” tool for streamlining lung screening workflow. It is designed to be an interactive adaptation of guidelines, disseminated by the ACR and the Fleischner Society, that address how to assess and manage radiographically detected pulmonary nodules.

 

“Old” School Connectivity

And there are other ways that smartphones help radiologists. They can connect radiologists with referring physicians, for example, through e-mail, instant messaging, texts and, of course, the old standby — voice. Immediate availability and impromptu consultations can help radiologists become valued members of patient management teams. Similarly, the repetitive use of smartphones might, as suggested earlier, improve or enhance cortical function.

To say that smartphones are the end all and be all of increased perceptual performance, however, clearly would be going too far, at least without including pianos and guitar. It might also be too much to say that smartphones can be leveraged to increase radiologists’ participation on patient management teams.

Beyond debate, however, is the widespread use of smartphones in the hands of radiologists and the existence of apps that, at the very least, promise to boost the performance of radiologists. And that’s interesting, in itself.

Editor's note: This is the first blog in a four-part series on Smartphones and Radiology

Related Content

Demystifying Cross-Enterprise Imaging
Sponsored Content | Whitepapers | Cross-enterprise Imaging | September 22, 2017
September 20, 2017 — With the transition to a value-based healthcare model, and an industry ripe with consolidation,
SIIM Announces Keynote Speakers for Conference on Machine Intelligence in Medical Imaging
News | Artificial Intelligence | September 21, 2017
The Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) recently announced several corporate and government experts as...
RamSoft Reaches Distribution Agreement With Medical Equipment Dynamics
News | PACS | September 21, 2017
September 21, 2017 — Medical Equipment Dynamics, provider of new, used and refurbished medical equipment, will now of
Carestream Demonstrates Artificial Intelligence Tools for Clinical Collaboration Platform
News | Enterprise Imaging | September 20, 2017
Carestream Health is demonstrating advanced imaging analytics software tools designed to enhance value in the delivery...
Agfa HealthCare Celebrates 150 Years at RSNA 2017
News | Enterprise Imaging | September 20, 2017
Agfa Healthcare announced that its exhibition at the 2017 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting...
InteleOne Provides Big Benefits for Little Patients at Children's Hospital
Sponsored Content | Case Study | Cross-enterprise Imaging | September 19, 2017
The largest and busiest children’s Primary Care Center between New York and Boston, Connecticut Children’s Medical Ce
ScImage and Invia Partnership Announced
News | PACS | September 19, 2017
ScImage Inc. and Invia Imaging Solutions recently announced formation of a joint partnership at the American Society of...
The Endless Possibilities Created by a Cross-Enterprise Workflow
Sponsored Content | Case Study | Cross-enterprise Imaging | September 19, 2017
Located in Fort Collins, Colo., Advanced Medical Imaging Consultants (AMIC) is the exclusive medical imaging provider
Telemis Supplying Complete PACS to French Radiology Group
News | PACS | September 18, 2017
Telemis announced that the Groupement Radiologues Associés (GRA) in Bordeaux, France, chose Telemis's picture archiving...
National Decision Support Co. Expands Enterprise Decision Support Integration With Epic
News | Clinical Decision Support | September 13, 2017
September 13, 2017 — Since announcing the integration of CareSelect Imaging with Epic's enterprise electronic health
Overlay Init