iPad-based Radiology Interface for Orthopedic and Spine Surgeons: Virtual Viewbox From Musculoskeletal Imaging Consultants

Written by Laura Dyrda | September 29, 2010 | Print  |
Virtual Viewbox was designed to help meet the specific radiology interface needs of orthopedic and spine surgeons. Surgeons can view images, reports with annotated key images and participate in interactive online consultations with their radiologist using a portable HIPAA/HITECH compliant device that can be carried into the examination room or the operating room.

How it works

Douglas K. Smith, MD, is founder and CEO of Musculoskeletal Imaging Consultants (MSKIC) and creator of Virtual Viewbox (patent pending). Dr. Smith trained as an orthopedic surgery resident at Mayo Clinic and says he saw a need for this type of tool for orthopedic and spine surgeons.

"Surgeons are busy and need immediate access to accurate detailed reports showing pertinent findings on attached key images; access to prior studies from other institutions and the current study on one screen; and access to interactive consultation with the radiologist that read the study," say Dr. Smith.

By using Virtual Viewbox, physicians can access a HIPAA-compliant website to view their reports and images anywhere they have internet access including on the iPad and other handheld devices such as an iPhone or Blackberry. By using TeleradPAD, surgeons can avoid the need to carry films or CDs to the operating room. With the TeleradPAD, they also have access to all their patient's studies including studies from other facilities. Studies from multiple sites are displayed together, which means there is no need to learn multiple viewing software programs.

"The interface is designed for the workflow of orthopedic and spine surgeons," says Dr. Smith. "We designed a system that revolves around them. They shouldn't have to revolve around the system."

These features are available on a specially configured iPad known as the TeleradPAD. A surgeon can carry it into the exam room and discuss images marked by the radiologist with his patient in the privacy of the exam room. If questions arise, the device can connect him with the radiologist that read the study and the two can consult right on the TeleradPAD. If an addendum to the report is needed, the radiologist can add it to the report using voice recognition technology.

Using Virtual Viewbox for sports medicine

When an athlete or team is on the road, team physicians can use the Virtual Viewbox to receive an injured athlete's diagnostic images and make a recommendation about whether the athlete should return to play. For athletes who need to know the severity of their injury quickly, the report can be available within an hour. Team physicians can also use the two-way technology to gain a second opinion on their recommendations, which is sometimes requested by professional athletes, coaches and agents.

Dr. Smith is an official team physician for the U.S. Ski and Snowboarding Teams and he uses Virtual Viewbox to simultaneously consult with the other team physicians and the trainers at multiple locations throughout the world. David Schmidt, MD, team physician for the San Antonio Spurs, also uses Virtual Viewbox to manage his patients.

Accessing Virtual Viewbox and the MSKIC team
The Virtual Viewbox service is free for orthopedic and spine surgeons that refer their studies to MSKIC for reading.

Each MSKIC radiologist has, on average, 20 years of experience in reading and reporting on orthopedic and spine images and has published an average of 20 articles each in the field. Additionally, some radiologists have been interventional spine radiologists doing pain management procedures.

Their experience help give physician users of the Virtual Viewbox a valuable tool intended to help streamline processes and improvement efficiency, Dr. Smith says.

"It's really designed to make the physician's life easier — radiology in the palm of your hand," he says.

Learn more about Musculoskeletal Imaging Consultants.

Learn more about Virtual Viewbox.

Read other coverage on Musculoskeletal Imaging Consultants:

- Trends and Insights into Orthopedic Teleradiology: Q&A With Radiologist Douglas Smith

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