RSNA 2016: Image sharing says goodbye to compact discs, hello to the cloud

The RSNA 2016 session, "Next Generation Infrastructure for Medical Imaging," introduced participants to the importance of image sharing and exchange with regard to the quality of care a radiologist delivers. 

"A Fond Farewell to CDs," a presentation by David Mendelson, MD, outlined the benefits and pitfalls of compact discs (CDs), while detailing the recent transition to internet-based sharing.

According to Mendelson, CDs are portable, inexpensive, can hold thousands of images and are part of the new film library. However, CDs also complicate matters with different data formats, various viewers, defective discs and security risks concerning patient identity. With this information, cloud computing targets enterprise, health imaging exchanges and consumers. 

"Once you put all the images on the cloud, you have access that you never had before," said Mendelson. 

RSNA Image Share Network is a network created to enable radiologists to share medical images with patients using personal health record (PHR) accounts, thus improving patient control over their records. There are currently 11 radiology centers that are enrolling patients in the network, in addition to various vendors implementing the image share through their own edge applications. Data suggests that the satisfaction with image-access has been proven higher with the internet when compared to CDs.  

Additional findings showed the elderly were well represented among the early adopters, the ease of access to medical images rated higher and a patient-directed, internet-based, interoperable system to exchange medical images was feasible and met patient expectations regarding access. 

Moving forward, the developers of RSNA Image Share network collaborated with the Sequoia Project and will be hosting a pilot program called Image Share Validation Program. The compliance of vendors' systems to standards for exchange of medical images used in the RSNA Image Share Network will be tested during this trial period.