By now you've all read about the hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of health care applications available for smartphones, tablets, etc., but none have made as significant an impact on moving mHealth to the next level as the one given approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week.
Last Friday's approval by the FDA of Cleveland-based MIM Software's Mobile MIM application was a landmark for mHealth. The new mobile radiology application will allow physicians to view medical images on the iPhone and iPad manufactured by Apple Inc. As with other applications, I'd think you can assume it will eventually be available for mobile devices running other operating systems.
The application is the first cleared by the FDA for viewing images and making medical diagnoses based on computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and nuclear medicine technology, such as positron emission tomography (PET).
While it is not intended to replace full workstations and is indicated for use only when there is no access to a workstation, the approval to use the application is a giant leap forward - especially in rural areas where health care can be better served through telemedicine or mHealth solutions. More importantly, doctors will no longer have to wait for actual x-rays or scans to physically be delivered.
Mobile MIM initially was the first medical app in Apple's AppStore in 2008, but due to regulatory concerns had to be removed a short time later...until last week.
Really think of it. Any CT, MRI or PET images taken by a hospital or at a provider's office can be sent to the appropriate portable device after being compressed for a "secure network transfer" through the Mobile MIM software. The software allows providers to measure both distance and intensity values for the images. As mentioned in the past, security is a key component for technology adoption of health care applications and it is built into the application.
Even though it is strictly regulated, I expect the FDA to approve more applications and mobile devices for the medical industry in order to move health care reform in a positive direction.
Have a safe and healthy week
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