Objective: The purpose of this paper is to identify and consolidate literature that describes eHealth tools or innovations currently existing in the field of radiology.
Methods: Due to the nature of the subject matter, this paper must be partially based on non-academic literature, such as government documents, documents describing the work of organizations, and opinion pieces or reviews by subject matter experts. A literature search was conducted using broad terms, unspecific to any subtype of informatics or radiology to achieve results as inclusive as possible. The databases PubMed, Google Scholar, and OVID Healthstar were searched using the generic terms “radiology + eHealth”. Specific terms (e.g. “diagnostic imaging repositories”) were used to search Google Scholar, Google, and the Canada Health Infoway and eHealth Ontario websites to retrieve information on desired topics.
Results: Seven trends are identified. Trends identified based on the literature review are related to teleradiology (n=38), mobile applications and devices (n=21), enhancements to PACS architecture (n=18), and web-based tools integrated with PACS (n=17). Trends identified based on further investigation to regional initiatives are diagnostic imaging repositories, foreign exam management, and zero footprint image viewers.
Discussion: A wide variety of research and significant efforts have been applied to these seven identified trends, and subareas of each. The theme of teleradiology has a great presence in the literature. Cloud computing has been suggested as a solution to the current needs for PACS. Completion of diagnostic imaging repositories represents great success provincially and is the gateway to further advancements, such as foreign exam management.
Conclusion: Radiology and eHealth are deeply interconnected fields of medicine. Medical imaging informatics advancements such as the seven described in this review are essential for strong clinical practice, for making patient care safer, and giving providers the best tools to work with.