Medical Images: Control Your Own

In the not too distant future you may be able to control your medical images the same you control your bank account today. That is the goal of a new project funded by the NIH.

The pilot project will allow 300,000 patients to do just that as soon as the first quarter of 2011. Thanks to a contract awarded to LifeImage Inc. of Newton, MA patients will be able to use the lifeIMAGE platform to manage their own medical records, including images, online. 

According to the lifeIMAGE website:

If you have a browser, whether you are a physician, a healthcare institution, or a patient, you can use lifeIMAGE to access, collect, view, and share imaging information from anywhere.

If all goes as planned, you will eventually be able to provide your care providers access to your medical images so they can review your medical history before your appointment.

 The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) is promoting standards based sharing of medical image data. RSNA selected lifeIMAGE to serve as a digital medical image clearinghouse of sorts for the duration of the 2 year project. One potential benefit to consumers and taxpayers is a reduction in the number of orders for duplicate images. According to CEO Hamid Tabatabaie, duplicate orders add up to an estimated $15 billion each year.

The lifeIMAGE press release about the contract award provides more detail.