Online imaging to lead to faster NHS diagnoses

Hospital intranet system to allow doctors access from home, paving the way for remote diagnosis

A British hospital is leading the way for Europe's health sector by implementing a web-enabled digital health imaging system, it was announced Monday.

Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London is the first hospital in Europe to make use of the Kodak-designed system that allows medical consultants to look at X-rays, scans and other images online.

Consultants will be able to access visual health information by logging onto a hospital intranet site from PCs or laptops at home. Images can even be sent to specialists abroad for consultation, and should result in speedier diagnoses. Electronic security codes will be used to protect the information.

The system is called the Kodak 1000 Distributed Medical Image Server with web viewing software. It will complement existing the Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) used by the Radiology department.

Leonie Paskin, manager of Radiology Services at the hospital, said in a release that the simultaneous availability of images in multiple locations would vastly improve efficiency and workflow.

"Electronic retrieval of medical images will lead to a much more streamlined system than is currently the case with conventional hard-copy film."

A spokeswoman for Kodak said: "This is a major step towards the health service of the future. Kodak... is proud to be working closely with hospitals... to introduce the benefits of cutting edge medical imaging, which will play a major role in delivering rapid, high quality diagnosis and treatment and improved healthcare services."

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