At RSNA 2009 in Chicago this week, researchers from University of Virginia are presenting findings of a study testing physician ability to read CT scans using an iPhone. Utilizing the open source OsiriX Mobile application, radiologists evaluated images of suspected appendicitis with impressive results:
CT examinations of the abdomen and pelvis of 25 patients with pain in the right lower abdomen were reviewed over an encrypted wireless network by five radiologists using an iPhone G3 equipped with OsiriX Mobile medical image viewing software. All of the patients had surgical confirmation or follow-up evaluations to confirm whether or not they had appendicitis.
“The scans can be read in full resolution with very little panning, and the software allows the reader to zoom and adjust the contrast and brightness of the image,” Dr. Choudhri [Asim F. Choudhri, M.D., fellow physician in the Division of Neuroradiology at Johns Hopkins University] said. “The radiologist is evaluating actual raw image data, not snapshots.”
Fifteen of the 25 patients were correctly identified as having acute appendicitis on 74 (99 percent) of 75 interpretations, with one false negative. There were no false positive readings. In eight of the 15 patients who had appendicitis, calcified deposits within the appendix were correctly identified in 88 percent of the interpretations. All 15 patients had signs of inflammation near the appendix that were correctly identified in 96 percent of interpretations, and 10 of the 15 had fluid near the appendix, which was correctly identified in 94 percent of the interpretations. Three abscesses were correctly identified by all five readers.
“The iPhone interpretations of the CT scans were as accurate as the interpretations viewed on dedicated picture archiving and communication system (PACS) workstations,” Dr. Choudhri said.
Dr. Choudhri pointed out that patient privacy concerns would have to be addressed before any handheld mobile device could be considered practical for clinical use, but noted that this technique has great potential for improving emergency room care.
RSNA press release: Smart Phones Allow Quick Diagnosis of Acute Appendicitis…
Study abstract: Handheld Device Review of Abdominal CT for the Evaluation of Acute Appendicitis
Product page: OsiriX Imaging Software…
(hat tip: SCOPE)