Sunday, November 16, 2008

Osirix App Now Available for iPhone

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OsiriX , the wonderful open-source Mac image viewer, just announced the availability of an iPhone version.

Like a lot of imaging software, OsiriX lets one look at X-rays, ultrasounds, CT and MR images. Besides merely viewing, it also lets one reconstruct 3D images and rotate them around.

Unlike most imaging software, OsiriX is written by radiologists who also happen to be clever programmers. Also unlike most imaging software, OsiriX doesn't require a second mortgage. The full Mac-based version is free, and the iPhone app is $20.

Why should a non-physician care about Osirix? Because this little app will let you carry around a library of your own personal medical images. Even in my prior life as an internist, I always urged patients to keep their own copy of their more important images. The OsiriX app finally makes this easy and portable.

In the radiology biz, we call prior imaging exams "old films", and they can be staggeringly useful to a patient and their physicians. One of my patients once avoided having a risky lung biopsy simply because he happened to have an old film at home as a curiosity. This old film showed us pretty convincingly that the potential lung cancer we saw on his new film was actually a benign granuloma, and was unchanged over the intervening decades.

How do you get copies of your own images? Ask your local radiology department to burn you a CD in DICOM format. Most departments will also include free image-viewing software on the disk. If you're a Mac owner, download a copy of OsiriX, which will read virtually all of these disks, even if written by PC's.

If you're a geeky radiologist, you're probably already playing with the new app. If you're a non-geek, ask your teenager or local radiologist to put it on your phone for you.

2 comments:

Rob said...

I just loaded Osirix for my phone. It's a great little app to show patients their cath films (I'm an interventional cardiologist), but the transfer from desktop to phone is buggy and keeps crashing my application.

The Samurai Radiologist said...

@ Rob: I agree. The viewing features are swell, but my transfers have also been buggy. If you have the time, the Osirix users group on Yahoo is extremely active and low noise. I've had great luck reporting bugs and getting help there.

You can join the group for free at:
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/osirix/