During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, women should think about the prevention, detection, and treatment of a disease that affects so many lives. Phillip Jackson, co-founder and general manager of Purview, takes a few minutes to discuss how comparing mammography screenings aids the early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Jackson explains the ways in which digital medical image storage/sharing with Purview can help women take control of their breast imaging by providing:
- Easy uploading and storage of mammogram images
- High quality image comparison
- Streamlined access to images when traveling between different physicians and imaging centers
Adam Curtis: So I am here with Phillip Jackson, co-founder, general manager of Purview. We’re going to talk today a little bit about Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Phil can you give us a little bit of a taste on the importance of comparing mammograms. We hear a lot about early screening, early detection, talk to us a little bit about the importance.
Phillip Jackson: The comparison of medical images or screening mammograms is often understated. By comparing mammograms, doctors are more likely to detect breast cancer early which can have a tremendous, positive impact on the care or the treatment of breast cancer. It can increase the likelihood of survivability. Comparing breast imaging is cornerstone to being successful in the treatment of your breast cancer.
AC: Now what are some best ways in which women can have the images together to compare at one time? Do they need to carry around a folder with them? Is it a disk? Or is something that Purview can help with?
PJ: Traditionally, women tend to visit the same diagnostic imaging facility for maybe a few years and then they may seen another primary care provider who may ask them to go to another diagnostic imaging facility. So there’s a lot of hopping around and with that hopping around, your medical records tend to get scattered about. With breast screening its critical to have all those records readily available because as a radiologist reviews those imaging studies they can see subtle changes which again connects back to the benefits of screening and early detection. So with Purview as a platform all of those medical images can be stored electronically. You as a patient can take control of managing your screening mammograms and potentially diagnostic mammograms. That will ultimately allow you to travel, to go to another state, another hospital or another imaging center, more seamlessly and maintain the level of care that you deserve.
AC: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that digital mammography has these following benefits, especially for women under 50.
- Long distance consultations with doctors are easier.
- There are slight differences with abnormal tissue that can be more easily noted.
- Fewer follow up tests may be performed. And also because those fewer tests, it reduces the exposure to radiation.
Is this that what you’ve seen in terms of dealing with these sorts of images and these sorts of patients?
PJ: Absolutely. So, I mean I’ve got some personal examples of women in our family who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and faced extreme difficulty in moving medical images around to get second opinions. When they had access to the digital images, things were much easier for them so far as getting second opinion or having consultations.
AC: Now what are the other things that the Department of Health and Human Services mentioned is reducing the exposure to radiation because digital mammography as we have talked about is available. You don’t to go into a new doctor and get a new screening. Are the new radiation risks that extreme? Or something that we just simply don’t want to overexpose anyone and limit the radiation as much as possible?
PJ: An analogy that is thrown about is that having a mammogram is a lot like flying in an airplane. So certainly we’re not talking huge amounts of radiation. You’re not going to walk out of a mammogram and be glowing. But as people, we shouldn’t want to expose ourselves to more radiation than necessary. When there are advances in medical imaging technology, we should take advantage of those advances. The step from analog mammography to digital mammography has reduced radiation. It has also increased the resolution in which the images are required. So that a radiologist can more easily see subtle findings. So there’s not just an advantage in reduced radiation with digital screening. But there is also an advantage with the quality of the images.
AC: Now to offer digital mammography to as many women as possible, Purview is doing something for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Can you talk about that?
PJ: So we believe that maintaining a record of your screening images for your radiologist is critical. We know that in maintaining and having access to more and more screening studies, subtleties can be found in imaging that can increase your chances of early detection. So with that, in the month of October, we are focused on encouraging women to have a current screening mammogram. If a man or woman uploads a screening mammogram in the month of October, we will provide that user with one year of premium access to our platform. That allows a patient to easily share those images with other doctors after an initial trial period. It allows them to have access to those records in a way that is comprehensive and holistic.
AC: And where can people find that?
PJ: Patients can sign up for that at www.purview.net . There are many facilities that are currently Purview enabled. So as a patient, you have the ability to have your imaging study done and when you leave your practice you can ask for Purview access to your images. You can sign up with an access code that is provided to you at the hospital or imaging center. And that will allow you more streamlined access to your images. If you visit an imaging center or a women’s imaging center, hospital that does not support Purview, you can request a CD. Which can be uploaded to Purview, so you can sign up for an account at purview.net and simply upload the medical images that are on your CD.
AC: Phillip Jackson, co-founder and general manager of Purview. Purview.net. Thanks so much for this discussion.
PJ: Thank you very much Adam.