For many doctors, specialists, hospitals, health care practices and medical facilities, the cloud holds a lot of promise for storing and accessing medical imaging studies by physicians and patients alike. Luckily, virtual cloud storage can typically find an application for nearly every type of medical imaging modality, from CT scanners to MRI machines and everything in between.
Many Purview Image users have questions about DICOM images, including:
- Can DICOM files be compressed?
- Are DICOM files large?
- Why are DICOM files so large?
- Can you email a DICOM file?
- Why is the DICOM format most suitable for medical images?
- How do I convert a DICOM to a JPEG?
- What is image compression in radiology?
Today, this blog post will focus on whether DICOM medical images can be compressed, when it's appropriate to compress them, and how you can get started.
Second opinions are, in the words of many within the healthcare industry, essential in the case of critical illness and should be the right of every patient. Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover or even require an in-person second opinion consultation with a specialist prior to treatment. Medicare even pays for a third opinion if the second opinion differs significantly from the first.
Remember when transferring medical images meant giving a patient physical film?
Medical images on film were physically carried when needed in another location for a second opinion or other medical attention. The patient or referring physician held the responsibility of returning the images to their originating location once they were no longer needed. This process was revolutionized by the compact disc (CD). A single disc could hold copies of multiple imaging studies, meaning the images didn’t have to be returned to the originating provider. The CD could be shared or transferred by mail or hand-delivery and another copy could be made, if needed.
But today, CDs are a burden, rather than a blessing. They require expensive materials, labor and precious time, when a cloud-based alternative achieves the same purpose for a lower cost and less effort. It’s no question: CDs are obsolete in medical imaging.
Savvy patients are demanding access to their medical information. They know that capturing this information at the point of treatment will save them time and aggravation should they need it in the future. This is more comprehensive than a simple collection of their medical history. They want copies of their radiology reports, pathology reports, diagnoses, prescriptions, electronic health records, and, of course, their medical imaging.
Your delivery of this information will impact your patients’ satisfaction, as well as your budget. How are you delivering your patients images today, and how can you improve this process? We have an answer for you.