The ability to review patients’ imaging studies on smartphones is a natural progression for mobile physicians. Most hospital PACS (Picture archiving and communication system) now allow viewing not only on any hospital computer but often from home PCs. The ability to view the same images from your iPhone would be a great boon for many physicians and several contenders are already en route to market or have arrived. In addition the extremely dense pixel resolution of the iPhone 4 Retina Display makes it an obvious target for mobile radiology viewers.

In the past, this site has reviewed two applications already available on the iPhone, eFilm (review) and OsiriX (review). One problem that any mobile imaging viewer has to contend with is the vast amount of data (in Mb) of a DICOM image set and the processing power required to perform 2d and 3d transformations. For example, OsiriX stores all the data locally on the iPhone, using WiFi to transmit whole data sets to the phone or performing queries to the PACS server to request data sets to be sent to the phone.

Now ResolutionMD (website) is presenting a different alternative. The DICOM processing and storage stays on the server and transformed image sets are sent to the phone for display and some processing like window and level manipulation. The app (iTunes link) is a free download but, of course, will not work until you hospital installs the server component. The demo (YouTube video) is quite impressive and a great indicator of how creative uses of smartphones will continue to push the envelopes of what was thought possible just a short while ago.