Maine To Launch Pilot of First U.S. Medical Image Sharing Network


On Thursday, officials with Maine's health information exchange, HealthInfoNet, announced that they are pilot testing the country's first medical image sharing network, Computerworld reports.

Medical images generally are stored in disparate picture archiving and communication systems within hospitals. The images typically are shared by being copied onto CDs.

However, Maine's new medical image sharing network would give physicians access to medical images regardless of their location.

Todd Rogow, director of IT at HealthInfoNet, said the five-month pilot project will involve about 200 terabytes of storage, which will be hosted on a public cloud infrastructure that is separate from the exchange. He added that the project will allow data sharing among 56 radiology imaging centers, which comprise about 80% of the state's volume of medical images.

Images in the network will include:

  • CT scans;
  • Mammograms;
  • MRIs; and
  • X-rays (Mearian, Computerworld, 5/31).

According to InformationWeek, the network will include images from the past five years and is expected to hold about 1.8 million new medical images annually (McGee, InformationWeek, 5/31).

HealthInfoNet officials said that the medical image sharing network could help save Maine's health care providers about $6 million over seven years through reduced image storage and transportation costs (Computerworld, 5/31).

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