Images to Go: Mobile MIM Application Brings Diagnostic-Quality Images to Mobile Devices

March 1, 2012 | Evaluations & Guidance

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The use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers is becoming commonplace in healthcare facilities. But in the past year, a new wrinkle has been added: It’s now possible to view diagnostic-quality images using mobile technology. Mobile MIM from MIM Software is an application for the Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that allows users to display medical images for diagnostic use. This is the first software specifically designed for off-the-shelf mobile devices that has been cleared by FDA for viewing diagnostic images; it received clearance in February 2011.

In FDA’s documentation, Mobile MIM is labeled to display magnetic resonance (MR), computed tomography (CT), single photon emission CT (SPECT), and positron emission tomography (PET) images for diagnosis. (Mammography is explicitly excluded; in fact, MIM Software tells us that mammography images are blocked and cannot be displayed.) The warnings in the software’s labeling make it clear that Mobile MIM should only be used when a workstation is not available—that is, the application is intended for use in emergency situations or in locations that lack workstations.

Other images, such as digital radiographs, can also be displayed, though they are not yet included in the cleared indications for use and cannot be used for diagnoses. The large size of such images (that is, the greater number of pixels) keeps them from being displayed efficiently on the screen of a mobile device; innovative image display tools will be required for this to happen. In the meantime, they can still be used...

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