Radiologist reviews iPad imaging apps

Expect "a lot of the iPad in our departments--and, more importantly, outside the radiology suite," says Sam Friedman, CTO and director for nuclear medicine at Pitts Radiology in South Carolina. Friedman also is a radiology blogger at Doctor Dalai's.

He doesn't expect that radiologists will replace their PC-based picture archiving and communications systems overnight, but rather at the pace of software and hardware developments. He reviews current radiology viewing apps for the iPhone in Advance. They include offerings from Merge Healthcare, OsiriX, iCRco Inc, MIM Software and Calgary Scientific.

The current offerings are "bare-bones programs," he writes, with much code devoted to file management. Most function as extensions of their desktop viewer counterparts. He does find that the current crop functions well in magnified mode. 

The viewers have disclaimers against their use for diagnosis--something that Friedman says he won't dispute. And he notes that computed radiography exams "don't look as good on the iPad as the cross-sectional modalities." But the iPad screen should be adequate for diagnosis, he reasons. "How many of us use standard Dell consumer-grade monitors here and there instead of 'proper' medical-grade equipment?" 

- here's Friedman's review