Radiology related applications; potential benefits and hazards

M A Rodrigues, J T Murchison, R R Brady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

OBJECTIVES:
Medical smartphone applications are increasingly popular amongst doctors. However, the quality of their content is variable. We assessed contemporary radiology-related smartphone applications, focussing on the level of advertised medical involvement in application development.
METHODS:
Six major application stores were searched between 18-30 June 2012 using the terms radiology, radiation, x-ray(s), computed tomography/CT, magnetic resonance imaging/MRI, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, fluoroscopy and mammography/mammogram. Application ratings, cost and medical input in development were recorded.
RESULTS:
321 applications were identified. One hundred fifty-eight were "teaching" and 96 "reference". Three of the 29 DICOM viewing applications had FDA approval for primary diagnosis, while 62 % stated they should not be used for primary diagnosis; 24 % of applications stated named medical professional involvement, 12 % had unnamed medical involvement and 4 % acknowledged guidelines or papers; 42 % did not disclose authorship.
CONCLUSIONS:
A large variety of radiology-related smartphone applications are available with many potential benefits. Advertised medical involvement in application design is variable, making assessment of their accuracy difficult prior to purchase. Additional measures are required to ensure the accuracy of such applications. The limitations of image interpretation using smartphones are a major drawback of DICOM viewing applications. Further research into the accuracy of primary diagnosis using such applications is needed.
MAIN MESSAGES:
• A large variety of radiology smartphone applications are available with many potential benefits • Variable medical involvement in application design limits assessment of accuracy before purchase • Limitations of image interpretation using smartphones are a drawback of DICOM viewing applications • Further work on the accuracy of primary diagnosis using these DICOM viewing applications is needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555
Number of pages562
JournalInsights into Imaging
Volume4
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Computers, Handheld
  • Data Mining
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Internet
  • Radiology
  • Radiology Information Systems
  • Software

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