Mobile image viewers faster, easier to use than enterprise-based tools

Mobile image viewers for radiology diagnostic needs are faster, easier to use and present stronger diagnostic confidence compared to traditional enterprise-based viewing technologies, according to a new study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Yet the research, directed by the radiology department of the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, notes that despite the benefits compared to picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) and enterprise viewer tools, mobile image viewer adoption remains slow as tool selection is complicated given integration with PACS and inherent data security requirements.

The study, which involved 565 viewing events, reveals ease of use is the same for PACS and mobile viewers, as both approaches scored high among users, while technical issues plagued the enterprise viewer technology. Mobile viewers loaded images faster than PACS and the enterprise viewer, the study revealed.

"The primary perceived benefit of a dedicated mobile image viewer was more rapid image access, which allows for faster communication of imaging findings, more rapid formation of treatment plans, leading to better outcomes and lower patient care costs," said the study's authors. "We believe that mobile viewing technology with virtual collaboration technology has the potential to improve the speed and quality of care we deliver. Our future efforts are focused on integrating this system with the EMR and obtaining institutional support for more widespread implementation."

The research arrives as more providers are adopting mHealth tools to drive improved patient care, gain efficiencies in operations and save on treatment costs. It supports recent Mayo Clinic insight on how other mHealth tools, such as smartphone apps and text messaging, can decrease recurrence of cardiovascular illness and help those with cardiovascular disease have a healthier life.

In regard to mobile image viewing technology, the study notes adoption will require a dedicated team to train users and support workflow integration but that such tasks should not impede moving ahead with mHealth tools.

"Our initial clinical experiences suggest that user perceptions and quantifiable speed benefits afforded by a mobile image viewing option support the long-term adoption of such a platform," the authors said.

For more information:
- read the study