DURHAM, N.C. — Heart Imaging Technologies (HeartIT(R)) today publicly announced the world’s first free website allowing patients to upload and share diagnostic-quality medical images using nothing but a standard web browser, www.webpax.com. “Patients can literally email a web link to someone halfway around the world allowing them to instantly view movies of a beating heart,” said Brent Reed, HeartIT’s Vice President for Sales and Marketing. “And the best part about it is that the service is completely free.”
The industry-standard format for medical images is DICOM. Viewing of DICOM-formatted medical images traditionally requires dedicated workstations costing thousands of dollars, which in turn are connected to picture archiving communications and storage (PACS) systems costing hundreds of thousands more. All of this makes it practically impossible for the average patient to view images of their own body. Today, however, Web 2.0 technologies are empowering patients with the ability to manage their own electronic medical records.
“When I tried to open the [DICOM] files at home, they wouldn’t open with any software that I had on my computer,” said Page Watkins, an expectant mother who had received a copy of her baby’s sonogram on CD. “I went online, Googled the extension that they were filed with and found that your site offered software to open the files. Even better, your software was able to save these images in a format that could be viewed on a standard DVD player. Needless to say, the slide show was a hit at our family Christmas.”
“Many patients don’t realize that they have a legal right to request copies of their medical images,” said Paul Cardullo, HeartIT’s Director of Software Development. “All they need to do is ask their doctor for a CD with their images in the standard DICOM format and upload them from any PC or Macintosh computer. Patients can then decide whether or not to allow other people to view their images in a web browser and/or download the DICOM data to another part of the world.”
Security on www.webpax.com is based on the same technologies used for online banking. As an added precaution, private information such as names and dates are automatically removed from the DICOM header during uploading.
HeartIT’s headquarters are located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle. Formed in 2000, HeartIT provides web-based medical image management services and computing systems to large hospitals and regional health care systems, as well as drug and device companies sponsoring multi-center clinical trials. Worldwide, HeartIT’s systems currently provide secure web browser access to over 200 million medical images.
More information: http://www.heartit.com.
Send2Press(R) is the originating wire service for this story, Copr. 2009.
[tags]Heart Imaging Technologies, HeartIT webpax, DICOM medical images[/tags]