iPhones can reliably be used by on-call radiology residents to obtain after-hours second opinions from their more experienced colleagues.
In a study presented at RSNA 2013, researchers led by Nak Jong Seong, a radiology/clinical assistant professor at Seoul National University, simulated an iPhone consultation with offsite abdominal radiologists.
The researchers reviewed the CT scans of 68 patients from a previous randomized control trial involving acute appendicitis. Two offsite abdominal radiologists retrospectively reviewed the CT images using an iPhone and a commercial mobile PACS image viewing application. They compared the diagnostic performance of the preliminary reports from the on-call radiologist, the final reports of the in-house attending abdominal radiologist, and the retrospective review by the two offsite iPhone readers.
The researchers found that the diagnostic performance of offsite smartphone readers didn't differ significantly from in-house preliminary reports and that using the smartphone resulted in higher diagnostic confidence.
"Based on this result, we calculated that a mobile consultation is recommended to be used as an adjunct to an on-call radiologist's preliminary report when the on-call radiologist's diagnosis of appendicitis is not conclusive," Seong according to AuntMinnie.com.
There have been other recent studies documenting the value of smartphone teleradiology. For example, researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Arizona in fall 2012 found a strong agreement between brain scan interpretations of stroke patients by neurologists using iPhones and those performed by radiologists using PACS workstations.