Way back last year, when I wrote an article for AdvanceWeb.com about iPad apps for radiology, I featured the ResolutionMD program from Calgary Scientific, one of the first apps to use server-side processing and rendering as opposed to being an on-board thick-client.
Calgary has just received approval from the FDA for ResMD to be used as a mobile, diagnostic application, diagnostic being the key word here. From Calgary’s website:
Calgary Scientific Inc. has received clearance from the UnitedStates (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its industry-leading medical imaging application, ResolutionMD™ Mobile, as a mobile diagnostic application, in the US. With this secure, highly scalable, server-based software solution, physicians located anywhere can rapidly access, view, and interact with patient images and reports stored within any healthcare facility, and render a clinical diagnosis using their mobile devices. Prior non-diagnostic versions of this product are currently distributed and licensed under Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) agreements with global leaders in medical imaging and information technology. In addition to the recent FDA clearance, ResolutionMD Mobile has also been licensed by Health Canada and bears the CE Mark for distribution in Europe.
Those global leaders include GE, whose iPhone/iPad app is simply a rebadged version of ResMD.
Calgary’s approach is at least in theory more secure, as patient data is never really resident on the mobile device:
. . .The mobile app offers unparalleled performance, advanced capabilities and complete security, utilizes minimal bandwidth and offers strong performance even on 3/4G wireless, and ensures that no highly sensitive or confidential patient information is ever retained on the mobile device. The patient image data cannot be lost or stolen, as in the case of traditional mobile-device rendered software, which requires that data to be sent to the mobile device. . .
And there’s more:
ResolutionMD Mobile incorporates many advanced capabilities including:
- Interactive 2D, MIP/MPR and 3D advanced visualization
- Anywhere, anytime access to andfully interactive use of MR and CT image
- Supports HIPAA Compliance –User authentication and encrypted communications further protect confidential patient information
- Concurrent support for Multiple Devices and Mobile Operating Platforms – The solution enables ResolutionMD Mobile capabilities on devices such as the Apple iPhone and iPad,as well as Android devices. Future versions of the server-based software solution will support an expanded list of mobile devices and operating systems, and supplementary applications to the FDA for clinical diagnostic imaging approval on those devices other than the iPhone and iPad will occur in then near future.
- Ambient Light User Assessment –Provides sample images to the user to assess the viewing suitability of current lighting conditions.
ResolutionMD Mobile is currently available on Apple iPhone and iPad devices through the Apple App Store. A demonstration version (ResolutionMD Mobile Lite) is also available on the Apple App Store, providing access to anonymized patient images. The ResolutionMD Server is available from Calgary Scientific Inc., as well as from its family of global leading OEM partners in medical imaging and information technology.
Clearly, this system is in direct competition with Mobile MIM, which was FDA-approved for mobile use back in February as I outlined here. It’s hard to say which approach will win out, and most likely both apps will find their way into the clinical armamentarium. I personally give a very slight edge to thin-client, server-side processing, BUT we have to keep in mind that this approach is totally dependent on bandwidth, which the thick-client approach isn’t, but how much of an impact that has on usability remeins to be seen. I’m sure we’ll see others in this venue in the near future.