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Top 10 Trends in Mobile Medical Technology July 2, 2010

Posted by tomography in gadget, Innovation.
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Tablet PCs, smart phones in healthcare? Detecting airborn toxins with your cell phones? Mobile reference guides for doctors and medical students? Is this just the future or is it happening now? NursingSchools.net has posted an article about trends in mobile medical technology that I found worth sharing with you.

From shrinking computers to powerful smartphones, mobile technology has also had an amazing impact on the medical field, and it’s revolutionized the way medical professionals work, from world-class hospitals down to nursing schools. Here are 10 trends in mobile medical technology that are rewriting the rulebooks.

No doubt mobile technology is not only changing the way we live our lives, but it also changes our perspective on medical information. I, as a resident doctor, on many occasions find myself browsing for medical information such as medicine side effects between seeing two patients at the Internal Medicine Department of the hospital I am in.

Radiology Teaching Files App Fully Optimized for iPad July 1, 2010

Posted by tomography in iPad, Radiology.
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The iPad continues to make room for itself in healthcare and here is the latest: Radiopeadia, the largest online Radiology resource has updated its teaching files so that they are more enjoyable on Apple’s  Ipad.  Read the press release below:

Melbourne, Australia, July 1, 2010 – Radiopaedia.org, a collaborative, online resource for the global radiological community, is pleased to announce that its popular iPhone app Radiology Teaching Files Version 2.0 has been fully optimized for the iPad which features multiple scrollable stacks with up to 350 images per case plus links to additional online cases. Head and Neck, the first of six volumes, is now available for purchase from iTunes App Store.

Radiopaedia.org ensures the Radiology Teaching Files App for the iPad has improved on the usability and flexibility of its iPhone application by allowing multiple scrollable stacks on each case with up to 350 images per case. Plus, the vivid LED-backlit IPS display of the iPad makes it ideal for viewing radiological images with unprecedented clarity. With many images per case, radiologists use the teaching files to test and improve their diagnostic skills, review discussions and reports as well as link to additional cases on line.

This iPad app is available in both a LITE and FULL version. The LITE version contains ten cases per volume, is absolutely free and is ideal for someone new to Radiopaedia.org.
Each FULL version includes a minimum of 50 individual cases in each volume, with additional cases made available as occasional free updates. The cost of the full app is $5.99 USD. All proceeds go towards the maintenance and further development of the Radiopaedia.org, which continues to honor its commitment to provide all of its online content for free.

The Radiology Teaching Files app for the iPad is available at the iTunes App Store. Get started for free with the LITE version: find it in the AppStore or get over 600 images with the full version for just $5.99USD find it in the AppStore here.

I also recommend dr. Berci Meskó’s fantastic blog post titled “Apple Ipad in Healthcare: Pros and Cons

- András

Summer School in Molecular Medicine June 9, 2010

Posted by tomography in education, Nuclear Medicine.
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Jena University HospitalThe deadline is tomorrow for applicants willing to take part in a one-month summer school in molecular medicine at the University of Jena.

August 30th – September 29th, 2010, Jena, Germany

The Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research of the University Hospital of Jena invites young scientists from all over the world to participate in the Summer School of Molecular Medicine. The Summer School will be held from August 30 till September 29, 2010, in Jena, Germany, and will provide an excellent opportunity to get familiar with research topics of molecular medicine and modern laboratory techniques. In addition, social events will provide a setting to meet and to learn more about the cultural life in Jena and its environs.
This opportunity is for all people with a  master’s degree (or equivalent) in biosciences, biochemistry, medicine or related fields. The candidates will complete a practical course consisting of modules from four different complexes (Molecular Biology, Morphology, Functional Analyses, and Animal Models). The courses are accompanied by a lecture series. Highly motivated candidates will have the possibility to apply for a PhD position in the participating research groups.
Full program listing may be found here.
I hope to see you there!
- András

Seldinger Technique: Flash Animation June 5, 2010

Posted by tomography in Intervention Radiology, Radiology.
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The other day I was translating an article about the Seldinger Technique, and I found a great Flash animation of it on the website of Anesthesia UK.

  • Check out the animation here.
  • Here is a guide to the use of pulmonary arterial catheters.

- András

Be Bluu! June 4, 2010

Posted by tomography in Off Topic, search engine, SEEKRadiology.
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I have just come across a new Hungarian search engine called Bluu! It makes searching for travel, whether much easier than any other search engines, it is also a handy dictionary, and it is very handsome :)

  • Check out their blog for more info – Hungarian only!
  • Here is an interview with the lead designer.

- András

Development of a free knowledge base to support the use of differential diagnosis information in PET-CT imaging. June 3, 2010

Posted by tomography in Conference, Nuclear Medicine, Radiology, SNM 2010.
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Here is the second project I am involved with that will be presented at SNM 2010 in Utah.

Development of a free knowledge base to support the use of
differential diagnosis information in PET-CT imaging.

Zoltán Tóth, Zoltán Barta, András Székely, Nikoletta Pócsi, Ildikó Garai.

OBJECTIVES

Our aim was to create an application integrated into the reporting
workflow to provide quick and easy access to relevant scientific
publications, facilitate the use of differential diagnosis information
and support evidence-based decision making. This project is part of a
larger project targeting the development of a structured reporting
system (ReportAssistant) for oncological whole-body PET-CT studies.
(See accompanying poster).

METHODS

Creation of a PET-CT gamut list

The gamut list was created by combining the results of two independent
methods. First we selected 160 representative reports from our
practice. These were processed sentence-by-sentence by two physicians
in order to extract the most common and less frequent findings in
whole-body PET-CT studies. Copies of the original report text were
modified inline: sentences describing relevant lesion types were
“tagged” with “location – lesion – diagnosis” triples. These tags were
collected and summarised as potential gamut items with the help of a
software script. Parallel with these, a second list was created by
processing and sytntetising various scientific literature sources.
After reviewing, these two lists were merged to form the first edition
of a PET-CT gamut list. These version of the list covers chest,
abdomen and pelvis related lesions and consists of 400 gamut items.

Collecting and tagging publications

Systematic literature searches using a comprehensive list of keyword
expressions distilled from the PET-CT gamut list were conducted. The
main target journals were Radiology, Radiographics (both official
journals of RSNA), Journal of Nuclear Medicine (the official journal
of SNM) and European Journal of Nuclear Medicine & Molecular imaging
(the official journal of EANM). A total of 745 articles were selected.
The URL addresses of the full text articles were recorded and manually
tagged with proper gamut triples. Further processing, including
downloading and indexing of PDF articles, was automatically done by
custom software written by one of the authors (Z Barta).

Software development

All software development was done by using the X4Tk toolkit. X4Tk is
an open source (LGPL), object-oriented MVC-framework for easy desktop
application development and more, including support for standard
enterprise messaging protocols, TCP/IP based server-client development
and various interprocess communication solutions. X4Tk is written in
Perl by one of the authors (Z Barta), with the first release in 2005,
it is actively maintained and field-tested.

RESULTS

Database of tagged publications

A comprehensive collection of high-quality, manually selected,
properly reviewed and tagged radiology and nuclear medicine
publications was generated by using the methods described earlier with
the help of our custom RA PaperManager software. This list can be
exported to an external file. By loading this list one can easily
rebuild the database on his own computer without violating copyright
restrictions.

RA PaperManager software

The main features of RA PaperManager are:

* extensive support for collecting scientific papers ranging
from dragging-and-dropping of files to direct web browser integration through
bookmarklets, respectively import of list of URLs pointing to full
text PDFs and scanning & monitoring of hard drive directories.

* “free” and gamut-list based tagging of papers

* full text search support

* easy linking & interprocess communication with other
applications (STOMP, Windows MMF, HTTP)

CONCLUSION

We have designed, implemented and tested a highly useable, general
purpose, point-n-click SR software. Our software system can serve for managing personal collections of scientific publications and it can be easily integrated into structured reporting softwares through it’s REST API. The
software is available under various licenses, including free licenses
for personal and academic institutional usage.

Look for Zoltán Barta and Zoltán Tóth on site for more details!

- András

ReportAssistant: a highly useable structured reporting system for PET-CT studies June 3, 2010

Posted by tomography in Conference, Nuclear Medicine, SNM 2010.
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Here is the first poster I am involved with:

ReportAssistant: a highly useable structured reporting system
for PET-CT studies

Zoltán Barta, Zoltán Tóth, András Székely, Nikoletta Pócsi, Nikol
Fedinecz, Bernadett Szűcs, Ildikó Garai

OBJECTIVES
Structured reporting (SR) solutions may have many practical benefits compared to conventional reporting. While SR systems are widely used in various diagnostic settings (in gastroenterology, cardiology and obstetrics), their use in general radiology and nuclear medicine is very limited due to the complexity of the domains and the lack of useable software products. The main objective of our project was to develop a practical SR system for whole-body oncological PET-CT studies, which can be easily adapted to general nuclear medicine and diagnostic CT imaging studies later on.

METHODS

Requirements

We defined the following main requirements:

* easy creation of multimedia reports

* context-sensitive and quick access to relevant decision
support materials

* user-friendly support of academic – research and education – activities

* flexible and simple integration with custom DICOM image
processing softwares

Concepts and prototyping

We used the concept of tagging as the basis of the design for our
softwares. We hypothetised that tagging – as used by many contemporary popular web services – can be the unifying component in interlinking lesion data, patient history, relevant scientific publications, etc. Our initial studies proved that
using composite tags of “location + lesion type + disease”
(the classic gamut formula), we can eliminate the deep hierarchical
navigational lists found in several commercial radiology point-n-click SR softwares. After experimenting with various decision support models, we concluded that a simple and cost-effective solution would be to use tagged, high quality, and freely accessible review and CME articles as decision support resources. (This work is presented in an accompanying poster). During the whole project we considered software usability as the most important problem to be solved. Therefore many throw-away prototypes were built and tested in order to find simple and effective UIs to streamline the workflow. We invested significant effort in reducing the time required to perform key repetitive tasks to the minimum. It is
obvious that even a two-second reduction in the completion time of a moderately frequent task can save many hours or days per person at a year scale.

Final design & architecture

The ReportAssistant platform consists of three independent, but
interconnected programs: an “editor” responsible for the creation of structured reports, a “viewer” application for archiving, teaching
file viewing and querying of the report database, and a custom
“papermanager” program, for collecting, full text indexing and tagging of scientific papers.

Software development

All software development was done by using the X4Tk toolkit. X4Tk is an open source (LGPL), object-oriented MVC-framework for easy desktop application development and more, including support for standard enterprise messaging protocols, TCP/IP based server-client development and various interprocess communication solutions. X4Tk is written in Perl by one of the authors (Z Barta), with the first release in 2005, it is actively maintained and field-tested.

RESULTS
RA Editor

RA Editor is the key application of the ReportAssistant platform: it
provides all the functionalities needed to create structured reports.
Other important features are:

* report template editing

* flexible, adaptable text macro subsystem

* study metadata and patient data viewing/importing/editing

* connection to our legacy RIS database

* communication with Mediso InterviewFusion image processing
software, through standard TCP/IP connection, by using a simple
XML-based declarative mini-language.

RA Viewer

RA Viewer is responsible for the viewing and searching of structured reports created with RA Editor. RA Viewer features include:

* search based on “free” and Dx tags, patient and study metadata

* export of ROI/VOI data combined with patient and study data
(MS Excel format)

* display of key images, report text, report summaries for quick reviewing

* annotation of images and export to PDF and MS PowerPoint formats

* digital signing and email distribution of the electronic
reports (in PDF format)

RA PaperManager

The main features of RA PaperManager are:

* extensive support for collecting scientific papers ranging
from dragging-and-dropping of files to direct web browser integration through bookmarklets, respectively import of list of URLs pointing to full text PDFs and scanning & monitoring of hard drive directories.

* “free” and gamut-list based tagging of papers

* indexing for full text search

* easy linking & interprocess communication with other
applications (STOMP, Windows MMF, HTTP)

CONCLUSION

We have designed, implemented and tested a highly useable, general purpose, point-n-click SR software. Our solution provides decision support directly integrated in the workflow. We believe (suggest) that access to “solved” cases and relevant evidence-based papers (reviews, CME articles from top journals) increases confidence in decision making, facilitates learning, deepens experience, which indirectly can lead to a better and more effective/reliable medical practice and is specially useful for resident students. Academic research and education activities are also supported by the software in the form of easy search & export of lesion data to spreadsheets, calculation of likelihood ratios, respectively a searchable structured report database of studies. Undergoing work will integrate speech-to-text solutions and will provide support for the conversion of the reports to DICOM SR (Suppl 23) standard format.

Look for Zoltán Barta and Zoltán Tóth on site for more details!

- András

SNM 2010 Kicks off tomorrow June 3, 2010

Posted by tomography in Conference, Nuclear Medicine.
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logo.gif

SNM 2010, the annual meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine starts tomorrow in Salt Lake City, Utah, and it will last till the 9th of this month.

Nestled against the Wasatch Mountains, Salt Lake offers an urban oasis just minutes away from an alpine escape.  Known for its clean, accessible downtown and friendly citizens, the city also blooms with rich artistic offerings and

boundless recreational options.  Salt Lake is where big-city culture meets sublime outdoor beauty.

Make your plans today to join over 3,900 of your colleagues, plus over 150 exhibiting companies, in Salt Lake City! SNM’s Annual Meeting is the world’s largest event focused exclusively on the latest developments in molecular imaging.  Come to Salt Lake City and soak up knowledge to advance your career—all while you experience the cultural riches of this unique destination.

I am part of two posters that will be presented during this meeting, and I will post our abstracts here soon.

I hope to hear from you, if you are in Utah! :)

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