Mobile devices 'impractical' for viewing medical images

Despite the continued mobilization of radiology efforts through smartphone and tablet use, diagnostic workstations aren't going anywhere anytime soon, physicians at a recent New York imaging conference told Although applications for these devices have made viewing images on the go much easier, such technology has limitations.

"You won't find a radiologist who wants to read a chest X-ray off an Apple iPad," Dr. David Hirschorn, director of radiology informatics at Staten Island University Hospital, told "It's not what it's meant for. We generally want visual real estate giving us a lot of space to investigate."

Hirschorn said that radiography images, in general, are a bad fit for mobile viewing. On the other hand, high-contrast and low-resolution images, such as CT and PET scans, as well as MRIs, tend to be better suited for such devices.

Meanwhile, Dr. Elizabeth Krupinski, professor and vice chair of research in radiology at the University of Arizona, called using a smartphone or a tablet for every diagnosis "impractical" for radiologists. She, too, brought up the issue of image quality, saying that it affected both accuracy and efficiency.

"What most studies have concentrated on is detection, and there's much discussion about a display's capability to facilitate detection," Krupinski said. "I personally think that this is a very small part of the diagnostic process because most radiologists can detect what's there. However, what they do with a finding after it is detected is affected by the quality of the image and the quality of the display."

For more:
- read this article