A family member recently developed severe lumbar radiculopathy with a partial foot drop. We had an MRI done in one state, but wanted to share the images with a spine specialist in our family in another state.
My first inclination was to share the MRI images via FaceTime on my Mac, but this wouldn't be optimal from the surgeon's perspective and most of these hospital-generated imaging discs don't even play on a Mac (we don't have a PC). My second thought was to send it using Dropbox, but I knew this wouldn't work either because of the recipient surgeon's technical prowess. The disc contents comprised a series of DICOM files. My brother discovered a service called DICOM Library (https://www.dicomlibrary.com/) that appeared to offer a solution.
DICOM stands for Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine, and is the main file type used by most radiology imaging devices. Just like Microsoft Word uses .docx, picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) and other radiology devices use DICOM. It turns out that DICOM files store each study's personally identifiable information (PII) in a DICOM data object similar to the way JPEG images have embedded tags describing the image.
DICOM Library allows anybody to upload DICOM files, and it will automatically remove the PII (as long as the PII is not embedded in the image like in old-school x-ray films) and then generate a web link to allow easy sharing and viewing of the images.
It took us about 10 minutes to download the disc contents onto our computer and upload all the images onto the DICOM Library server. Afterwards, we had a custom link that made it easy to share our high-resolution images. Consider DICOM Library next time you have a consultant who can't remotely access your EMR images.
Dr. Mohseniis an emergency physician, telemedicine provider with CirrusMD, and the editor of his own blog, http://CreativeHealthLabs.com. Follow him on Twitter @amohseni, and read his past EMN columns athttp://bit.ly/EMN-DocAPProvED.Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.