Acquiring and integrating a digital photo of a patient with traditional medical imaging studies (X-ray, ultrasound, CT, MRI, etc.).
- Occurs at the point-of-care of medical imaging for accurate identification, diagnosis, and treatment of patients.
- Decreases human involvement in photo acquisition.
- Prevents patient mislabeling and misidentification during medical imaging that may result in misdiagnosis or the wrong treatment being administered to a patient.
- Reduces the time radiologists spend interpreting an imaging study.
- Increases radiologist confidence in interpretation of results.
Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) must deliver a comprehensive suite of embedded clinical tools in imaging machines while concurrently integrating with electronic medical records and health information exchanges. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) is expected to stimulate increased spending towards healthcare IT infrastructure. Small hospitals, including approximately 5000 community hospitals in the US, will need to become fully digitalized in the next few years. This move towards more comprehensive healthcare IT will result in an increased adoption of technologies that integrate PACS with electronic medical records.
Patient mislabeling and misidentification in the realm of medical imaging can result in serious consequences such as incorrect diagnosis, wrong treatment, and erroneous reporting in clinical studies. This technology describes a system and related methods in which digital photos of the patient are easily paired and compared with x-rays or other medical images to verify the identity of the patient and to minimize the chance that a radiologist will read and interpret a mislabeled or misidentified image from the wrong patient. The proposed system consists of hardware and software that can be retrofitted to preexisting imaging machines or integrated into newly manufactured machines prior to sale. Briefly, both the digital photo and medical image are collected and coupled at the point-of-care using an Android-based software application. Then, both images are archived as a single record and sent to the PACS for storage and retrieval as part as the patient's electronic medical records, thus decreasing the chance of human error during the image collection and archiving process. An initial validation study indicates that not only does this system have the capability to reduce errors, but it also can decrease the time a radiologist spends interpreting an imaging study. Furthermore, radiologist confidence in interpretation increases with the addition of photos.
Prototype system has been constructed, tested, and validated pre-clinically.
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