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Carestream Health Inc. is testing a Web portal that gives patients secure, online access to their X-rays and medical imaging scans.
The portal, MyVue, lets patients log onto a password-protected link on participating radiologist practices’ or health systems’ websites and download their own MRIs, PET scans or other medical images to iPads or computers.
MyVue images can be uploaded to Web-enables devices including iPads but cannot be downloaded to smartphones because the Food and Drug Administration is studying whether to allow smart phones’ to be used as medical devices, said Cristine Kao, Carestream’s worldwide director of information technology marketing. Radiologists can store images on their own servers or use cloud-based space provided by Carestream.
Once patients download MyVue images, they can share them with their family doctor, a specialist or another radiologist. If they choose, they can email pictures to family and friends, post them on social media or have them printed on a T-shirt.
MyVue has been in limited use at one U.S. radiology practice and one site in Italy for the past three months during a trade trial.
Doctors at the U.S. test site, Houston Medical Imaging, a three-location, doctor-owned radiology practice in Texas, rate the portal a success. Some 1,500 patients—roughly half of the practice’s patient load during the period—have logged on to MyVue over the past three months, said Houston Medical Imaging CEO Randall Stenoien M.D.
“Because this portal equips patients to manage their own imaging studies, we view it as an important service offering,” he said.
MyVue is also a boon to referring physicians, who can instantly access imaging scans that the radiology practice used to burn onto CDs and deliver by messenger or mail. And by cutting out the need to do duplicate studies, the service has helped cut costs, Stenoien added.
As part of a multi-institution initiative called MyShare, a similar patient portal has been developed by several large providers but is only available to patients of those clinics and academic medical centers.
MyShare participants are the University of California, San Francisco; the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota; Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City; the University of Maryland in Baltimore; and the University of Chicago. The program is not related to Carestream’s effort.
Relatively small radiology practices, such as the roughly 40,000-patient a year Houston Medical Imaging, using portals like MyVue are most likely to fuel a growing trend of providing direct patient access to medical scans, Stenoien believes
Carestream expects to begin nationwide distribution of MyVue in February.
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