February 4, 2009 - Heart Imaging Technologies (HeartIT) said it has created the first free Web site allowing patients to upload and share diagnostic-quality medical images using nothing but a standard Web browser.
The URL is www.webpax.com.
The industry-standard format for medical images is DICOM. Viewing of DICOM-formatted medical images traditionally requires dedicated workstations reportedly costing thousands of dollars, which in turn are connected to PACS systems costing hundreds of thousands more, said HeartIT. All of this makes it practically impossible for the average patient to view images of their own body. Today, however, Web 2.0 technologies are empowering patients with the ability to manage their own electronic medical records (EMR).
"Many patients don't realize that they have a legal right to request copies of their medical images," said Paul Cardullo, HeartIT's director of software development. "All they need to do is ask their doctor for a CD with their images in the standard DICOM format and upload them from any PC or Macintosh computer. Patients can then decide whether or not to allow other people to view their images in a Web browser and/or download the DICOM data to another part of the world."
Security on www.webpax.com is based on the same technologies used for online banking, said HeartIT. As an added precaution, private information such as names and dates are automatically removed from the DICOM header during uploading.
Formed in 2000, HeartIT provides Web-based medical image management services and computing systems to large hospitals and regional health care systems, as well as drug and device companies sponsoring multicenter clinical trials.
For more information: www.heartit.com