Medical Imaging Going Mobile

In our increasingly mobile world, it is not hard to imagine the rise of medical diagnostic tools on our smart phones and tablet computers. On the one hand I am amazed that it took this long to start creating medical diagnostic apps and on the other hand and am surprised it gained FDA clearance so quickly. Not that there is any inherent reason to reject an app like this, but as with any new technology that comes across the FDA’s plate I’m sure there had to be miles of red tape and several hoops to jump through. I guess its a testament to the value, and not just monetarily, of lightweight, mobile information.

InformationWeek, February 10, 2001

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last week that it has given 510(k) clearance to a new mobile radiology application developed by Cleveland, Ohio-based MIM Software. The software, called Mobile MIM, allows physicians to view medical images on Apple’s iPhone and iPad mobile devices.

Announced last week, the move marks the first time that the FDA has given clearance to a mobile health application that will help clinicians view images and make medical diagnoses based on computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and nuclear medicine technology, such as positron emission tomography (PET).

The news is yet another indication that mobile devices, particularly the iPad, are gaining significant traction among doctors and other clinical employees who are using the product in various hospital settings, according to Irene Berlinsky, IDC’s senior research analyst covering multiplay services.

I for one hope to see many more medical applications like this. The more information and tools health care professionals can bring to bear on a problem the better patient care will be.