Supriya Gupta, MD, and colleagues from Harvard Medical School conducted a study that compared image quality, download speed, and speed of interpretation for preliminary diagnosis of telestroke cases using an iPhone and PACS workstation. They plan to share their findings in this Monday morning scientific session.
The study included 33 patients who had head trauma and had been evaluated for stroke with CT. Gupta's team used a scale of 1 to 5 to categorize image quality:
- 5 = excellent diagnostic quality image
- 4 = less than diagnostic but good quality
- 3 = good only for a preliminary report
- 2 = not adequate for a preliminary opinion
- 1 = not acceptable
A similar scale was used to grade speed of download, with a score of 5 being excellent speed, almost instant; 4 being good speed, better than PACS; 3 being speed equivalent to a PACS workstation; 2 being speed less than a PACS workstation, but not slow; and 1 being very slow.
Ten of the 33 cases scored ratings of 4 or 5 for image quality on the iPhone, Gupta's team found. When it came to speed, PACS won out, downloading telestroke images in less than a minute while the iPhone took 7.64 minutes. The average time of interpretation was 2.34 minutes using the PACS workstation and 6.44 minutes using the iPhone.
Although promising, mobile imaging with devices such as the iPhone need faster download speeds to be put into greater use, Gupta's team concluded.