CDI Miami | Tuesday May 10, 2016

Mobile Diagnostic Imaging: The Next Big Thing?

ct scanner in a specialized stroke ambulance

A specialized stroke ambulance, called VIMED STEMO, carries a portable CT scanner and a point-of-care laboratory for nearly-instant diagnosis and initiation of treatment in stroke patients.

Portable X-ray and CT scan devices are on the rise for patients with mobility issues. Portable X-ray and CT scan devices wirelessly communicate and share data, via cellular, WLAN, WMAN, WPAN, and WWAN (read: WIFI) communication networks. Furthermore, these devices act as intermediaries between patients and healthcare staff; monitoring patients and providing therapy, imaging, and diagnostics. The device is paired with a machine that allows it to transfer and store digital images almost instantly.
The CT Scan made the mobile jump in 2005 (though weighing it at just under 800lbs, we are using the term “mobile” generously). By making the CT scanner smaller and mobile, physicians have improved the quality of patient care, and according to one study, generated 169% return on investment.


Other advantages of portable X-ray and CT scan devices are their use in rural areas of developing countries where big, expensive equipment are non-existent. A portable x-ray manufacturer released that they were able to deliver digital imaging equipment to Kathmandu, Nepal, to a hospital that was previously considered almost inaccessible for delivery of advanced diagnostic imaging equipment. This accessibility allows for early stage detection of diseases which could go undiagnosed if patients have to wait or travel far for examination.


So far, the only digital medical imaging medium that has made it fully out into the field is the portable ultrasound. These mass-produced devices can be operated from a smartphone and are especially needed in areas plagued with high infant and maternal mortality, such as Chad and Somalia.


Mobisante has developed ultrasound platform which requires only a wand, a smartphone and an app to run.

Other applications of mobile technology can successfully track patient’s health and provide a platform for maintaining and updating important health records. Researchers at the University of Cambridge developed an application that can be used to monitor diabetes, kidney disease and urinary tract infections using color based tests. This technology allows doctors to monitor patients in real time and is expected to improve outpatient treatments.

A mobile imaging company can provide everything you need to offer nuclear imaging at your location – with no capital outlay or direct expense to your practice. These services include accreditation, licensing, personnel, equipment, consumables, and isotopes. Understanding how mobile diagnostic imaging programs work is the best way to know if the service can benefit your practice.

These low-cost alternatives to traditional imaging methods are revolutionizing in-home care as well as access to preventative care for populations in developing nations. It is only a matter of time before other digital imaging technologies catch up to the mobile revolution.