The food and drug administration (FDA) has ushered in the era of mobile diagnostic radiology by approving a medical-image software for Apple mobile devices- iphone, ipad and itouch. The image quality is said to be good enough to enable the doctors to make diagnosis from computerized tomography (CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans.
However this software is not approved for reading X-rays or mammograms. The software is approved for use only when there is no access to a workstation but the FDA spokesperson Erica Jefferson has acknowledged that there is no way to track whether doctors use this software all the time for convenience. The mobile MIM software has been developed by MIM Software Inc. of Cleveland. It includes a safety guide and screen features which ensure that a physician can recognize subtle differences in contrast to make a proper diagnosis. MIM Software's chief technology officer, Mark Cain, said, Â "The software would be useful if a radiologist wanted a second opinion about a PET scan from a specialist who was at a conference, on vacation or otherwise away from a workstation."
While chairman of the American College of Radiology's IT and Informatics Committee, tested early versions of the software, Mr. Khan Siddiqui said, "The software will be used mainly by non-radiologists, such as surgeons or cardiologists, to confirm courses of treatment and explain them to patients." Siddiqui expressed fear about potential its abuse but said the benefits outweigh the risks.