PACS and Consistent Measurements: Saving Lives?
According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, lesion management software used in PACS has provided a more reliable and consistent method of studying metastatic lesions in serial CT exams.
Researchers found that the PACS software also performed the measurements in about half the time of the previous method doctors and specialists used. It also offered a better, more complete group of data and improved tumor assessment. Are consistent measurements as a result of better PACS solutions saving lives? Yes.
Most processes involve manual evaluation and assessment of the problem areas, which is called response evaluation criteria in solid tumors. This process involves measuring the tumor from when it was discovered to the end of a treatment regimen and it has limitations, which got medical professionals thinking about how to come up with a more accurate and consistent way to study these tumors.
What they developed was a semiautomatic lesion management application that could be used in their PACS software. It is capable of detecting, measuring and capturing data related to the lesions being targeted. The technology is also being used to some degree on lymph node lesions.
In a study capturing the usefulness of the new technology, researchers reviewed 93 lesions, most of which were lymph node lesions. Around 50 of the patients being studied had metastatic prostate or bladder cancer while the others had lesions in the lung or liver. They found that using the semiautomatic software was around three times faster than using the manual method.
Further benefits of the new technology include a reduction in transcription errors, which will offer more timely and consistent reporting that saves time. The technology should soon be spreading to other medical offices using PACS as the group is currently collaborating with other cancer centers to provide data exchange of measurement data that comply with standards, including the Annotation and Image Markup (AIM) and DICOM.
Since the study was completed, medical professionals have come up with advances that will further improve the study of lesions, including a 2D tool that will work in PACS. This tool will run in the background and help radiologists who look at volumes. The researchers also said in their study that they believe eventually, the automated segmentation of normal and abnormal anatomy will eventually be seen as commonplace.
This type of technology will go a long way in assisting doctors and technicians in better serving patients. And due to the ability in the technology to share the data across platforms, the rural communities will also benefit.
OffSite Image Management, Inc., has a mission to assist rural and critical care radiology services. The company also has a focus on vendor neutral archiving and off site storage. OffSite’s PACS solution is also set up to support these facilities for many years down the road. The PACS solution at OffSite offers short-term and long-term storage.
Originally posted 2013-09-24 06:00:51.