iPhone App For Diagnosing Appendicitis

This image described by iPhone, apps, iPhone apps, applications, medical, Asim F. Choudhri, MD, OsiriX Mobile, HIPAA Privacy Rule, Johns Hopkins University, University of Virginia, Appendicitis 


Now here is something, I thought I'll never report, the iPhone becoming an indispensable tool in the medical field. We kid you not! Radiologists are diagnosing acute appendicitis from remote locations by using their iPhone which has been loaded with a special software.

Since the Office for Civil Rights enforces the HIPAA Privacy Rule, it goes without saying that the medical team in question took all the necessary precautions as this process requires sensitive medical to be transmitted on an internet network. 

Images of CT scans can be transmitted to a radiologist in case he is not present in the hospital. These images can be read in full resolution on an iPhone 3G that has been equipped with OsiriX Mobile medical image viewing software. The software also allows the reader to zoom  and play with the contrast and brightness of the image. This is different from a regular image as the doctors are evaluating actual raw image data.

This method has been also presented at http://rsna2009.rsna.org/preliminary_information.cfm  by  Asim F. Choudhri, MD, a physician in the division of neuroradiology at Johns Hopkins University  who along with his team, used the iPhone on 15 patients. Choudhri and his team also had to prove effectively that this medical diagnose can be done on the relatively smaller screens of the iPhone to highlight how new technologies can co-exist with existing medical methods.

At the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, CT examinations of 25 patients with pain in the right lower abdomen were transmitted over an encrypted wireless network to five radiologists. The radiologists in question were able to correctly identify fifteen of the 25 patients for suffering from acute appendicitis. The doctors were also able to correctly identify calcified deposits in the appendix in 88 percent of the interpretations and that 10 of the 15 patients had fluid near the appendix. They also identified correctly that all  15 patients had signs of inflammation near the appendix in 96 percent of interpretations. All five readers correctly identified three abscesses as well. 

Appendicitis can be quite tricky as there is always a chance of rupture if the diagnose hasn't been done in time. The idea here is also to save resources and time, since the medical team and the equipment can be assembled before the operating surgeon even meets the patient.

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