Microsoft HealthVault Connection Center is giving flexibility to patients accessing, organizing and storing their medical images in a personal health record (PHR).
The Connection Center — free software that can be downloaded with a Microsoft account — enables patients to view personal health images, such as X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and ultrasounds from their computer. Instead of carrying tangible scans and documents, patients can store it into the secure PHR. The ability to view personal images and scans gives patients an active role in their health treatment.
The service supports Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) as protocol for the transmission of medical images. This goes a long way in the provider-to-patient relationship as patients can view their medical images from home or away. With access on both the provider and patient level, telecommunications is a viable solution to discuss earlier scans.
Providers can store medical images in a user’s HealthVault account after radiology appointments. This function enables a user download personal medical images to their computer without making additional trips to a medical facility only to pick up images.
Patients may also burn DICOM-compliant imaging CDs/DVDs using the studies they downloaded from a HealthVault record along with the ezDICOM viewer. This permits users to take the CDs/DVDs to their respective physician or hospital. They can seek second and third opinions simply by handing over their records and also get their images imported in the Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS).
There are other helpful features, too. Patients can keep track of their images using a stop and resume option, which lets one to preview thumbnails. It’s sound in functionality evident by zero duplication of images and includes upload restartability in case of computer-related failures.
Connection Center enables the transfer of results from particular monitoring devices — for example, pedometers, blood pressure and glucose monitors — to a user’s HeathVault account. As a result, there’s an array of health-oriented tasks that can be managed and tracked, some of which facilitated via the user:
• Organize prescriptions through pharmacies
• Follow an eating regimen and diet
• Track exercise progress
• Store medical records and images
• Observe monitoring device readings
• Supervise a chronic condition