PocketHealth, platform to digitally share medical images, launches terminology dictionary for users

PocketHealth, a medical image-sharing platform, has launched a new feature that can define anatomical and medical terms for users.

The feature, called Report Reader, works within the company’s cloud platform. Its goal is to empower patients to better understand their own health records and to ease anxiety about complex terminology associated with their health. As of now, more than 300 medical terms are defined, but the company hopes to continue expanding the vocabulary library, it told Fierce Healthcare. 

The company believes the most efficient way to move images through the healthcare system, from patient to provider, is through the patient. Its platform enables the digital sharing of records rather than relying on more antiquated methods like burning CDs. 

With Report Reader, patients’ radiology reports underline terminology that patients can mouse over for definitions. Beyond medical terms, Report Reader also translates terms related to basic structures providers rely on to navigate reports, like the medical record number. In the future, the company said it may explore ways to make the interface even more interactive, such as embedding the vocabulary in the medical image itself. 

Report Reader page

From the company’s inception more than six years ago, it intended to be a network-free model, following traditional data-sharing systems like Google Docs, explained co-founder and CEO Rishi Nayyar. The images can be shared and downloaded in full diagnostic quality with anyone, including non-users.

“That’s actually been a winning formula for us from an architecture perspective,” Nayyar said. 

Providers are increasingly gravitating toward these types of platforms not only because they recognize the benefit of empowering patients with understanding: They also reduce operational workflow and costs, Nayyar explained. If patients are able to understand their records better, they are less likely to call their physician with questions, he said. This understanding can also lead to more productive follow-up appointments. 

The company’s technology is used by more than 200 providers in the U.S. and more than 550 across North America, reaching 600,000 patients. It adds roughly 25,000 new patients a month, it said. Most of its growth has been in the U.S., Nayyar said. The PocketHealth platform is currently home to more than 500 million images, according to the company, and adds about 38 million new medical images a month. 

Features like Report Reader are born by observing patient behavior and demands.

“We don't think of it—our patients ask for it, or our health systems ask for it,” Nayyar noted.