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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 208-211

Remote access of radiological images using android


1 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Bapuji Institute of Engineering and Technology, Davangere, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Biomedical Engineering and Technology, Davangere, Karnataka, India
3 Manipal Centre for Information Science, Manipal, India
4 Department of Radiology, S.S Medical and Hospital, Davangere, Karnataka, India
5 Department of Biomedical Engineering and Technology, Davangere, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication16-Apr-2014

Correspondence Address:
Vinay Parameshwarappa
#266, Lakshmi Nilaya, Karinapalaya, Bangalore - 560 084, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2347-9019.130735

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  Abstract 

Aims: To develop a Graphical User Interface (GUI) system for mobile application to provide secured remote access to medical images for faster diagnostic and therapeutic use. Settings and Design: We have designed an android application using the android operating system. The application is compatible to DICOM images. The application has two layouts and with tools such as window scaling, bone edge detection and RGB colouring. We have also designed a database server for storing patients medical images were a physician can store patient's medical image taken through one of the imaging modality. Methods and Material: The system consists of two separate modules one is at the hospital called "Base unit" and the other at doctor's site called "Mobile unit". At the base unit we have developed a database server for storing the medical images of the patient. We have developed the database using the PHP and my SQL programming languages. The software design and implementation is similar to the client server model. Communication between the two parts is achieved using TCP/IP as network protocol, which ensures safe data transmission over different telecommunication means such as GSM, Satellite, and POTS. The Mobile unit mainly consists of a software module which is built into an android application used for receiving the image data (DICOM Images) of the patient, viewing the image and sending back the report of the patient to the base unit using a communication module (GSM, Satellite or POTS modem). Here the Mobile unit is the mobile phone supporting android applications (smart phones, tablet computers) [5] . An android application viewer is created in the mobile phone of the doctor's through which he can access the medical images stored in the base unit. Results: Proposed work is capable of accessing the medical images from the remote area by the doctor's using their android smart phones. At the mobile unit doctors can use the image enhancement techniques provided for better visualization of the medical images. Also doctor can send the report back to the base unit. Conclusions: As wireless technology is becoming an important part of health care centre's, proposed work intended to use small and portable mobile devices for the assistance of healthcare personnel. It enables the remote access of patient information and images through his wireless handheld devices. Development of such applications will enable to provide better healthcare facilities in time to patients.

Keywords: Android, DICOM, healthcare, medical imaging system, telemedicine


How to cite this article:
Parameshwarappa V, Patel SV, Nellisara SB, Nandish S, Bhagwat KA, Varma R. Remote access of radiological images using android. Int J Health Syst Disaster Manage 2013;1:208-11

How to cite this URL:
Parameshwarappa V, Patel SV, Nellisara SB, Nandish S, Bhagwat KA, Varma R. Remote access of radiological images using android. Int J Health Syst Disaster Manage [serial online] 2013 [cited 2021 Jun 21];1:208-11. Available from: https://www.ijhsdm.org/text.asp?2013/1/4/208/130735


  Introduction Top


Telemedicine is the delivery of health care and sharing of medical knowledge over a distance using telecommunication. Telemedicine provides expert-based health care facility to remote sites using advanced telecommunication and information technologies. The advanced technology comprises the rapid improvement of medical instrumentation and the computerized management of medical records and images in hospital. The doctors who were at remote places from hospitals need access of the medical records of patients during emergency cases. [1]

To solve these problems, we are designing a system that could transmit the images acquired by medical imaging systems in hospital to the remote doctor's handheld personal digital assistants (PDA's) using Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) technology. This integrated system can be used when handling emergency cases in hospitals, clinics or diagnostic centers, and other healthcare areas. The system allows the transmission of radiological images [Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine (DICOM)] of the patient obtained through imaging systems, such as X-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography imaging. The transmission is performed through using a database server located at the base unit which contains scan images of the patients, which needs to be analyzed by expert doctors. The database server is accessed by expert doctors who are at far of places or in remote areas through their handheld PDA's using GSM technology. The android-based software application developed in this work will enable the radiologist to view the scan images in their PDA's. The application software developed in this work is compatible with DICOM standards; therefore, scan images are viewed in this smart phone without distortions and loss of information. The graphical user interface (GUI) developed on android platform will provide secured access to database server. In emergency cases where immediate medical treatment is the issue, but there is no availability of expert doctors to analyze these images, this application comes into major use.

Objective

  • To develop a GUI system for mobile application to provide secured access of medical images stored in the database server


Methodology (explained with schematic diagram/block diagram)

A. Overview of the system working

The [Figure 1] shows the over view of the system working in the form of block diagram
Figure 1: Overview of the system working

Click here to view


B. System design and implementation B

The system consists of two separate modules one is at the hospital called "base unit" and the other at doctor's site called "mobile unit." The doctor uses the system during an emergency case or monitoring a patient from a remote place. The design and implementation of the system is based on doctor's requirements and corresponding system functional specifications. [2],[3]

The base unit consists of personal computer with server for collection and transmission of medical images of the patients from the hospital to the doctor's unit. The doctor's unit receives the incoming data. The software design and implementation is similar to the client server model. Communication between the two parts is achieved using Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) as network protocol, which ensures safe data transmission over different telecommunication means such as GSM, satellite, and Plain old telephone services (POTS). [2] The communication protocol is designed based on the "Vital" and "DICOM" codification schemes.

Using the database, the physician manually stores the patient' information and the medical image of the patient (DICOM), which the remote doctors need to access. [4]

a. Mobile unit (or doctor's unit)

The mobile unit mainly consists of a software module which is built into an android application used for receiving the image data (DICOM images) of the patient, viewing the image and sending back the report of the patient to the base unit using a communication module (GSM, satellite, or POTS modem). Here, the mobile unit is the mobile phone supporting android applications (smart phones, tablet computers). An android application viewer is created in the mobile phone of the doctor's through which he can access the medical images stored in the base unit. [4]

Design of the application

The application is designed on android platform using android development software. Android provides software for mobile devices. Android operating system is comprised of a virtual machine that runs on the Linux kernel and Appication programming interface (APIs).

We have designed an application named "BIET DICOM VIEWER" using the android application software. Since android allows users to create their own application using application software tools. This benefits users to come up with different applications for a benefit. The purpose of developing this BIET DICOM VIEWER is for medical purpose, to view and manipulate medical images of patients taken through one of the medical imaging systems. [5]

BIET DICOM viewer

BIET DICOM VIEWER is built on android platform and it runs only on this platform. DICOM is a standard for handling, storing, printing, and transmitting information I medical imaging. It includes a file format definition and a network communications protocol. [6]

Once the doctor accesses the database from his android phone and logins to his account, he can view the patient details of his/her interest from where he downloads the image file of the patient. Once the image has been downloaded, it is automatically stored into the external memory of his android phone. The image that is downloaded from the database gets stored into the external memory of the phone, now the doctor can open the BIET DICOM APP which itself is a separate application on the handset of the doctor's phone. [3]

The feature of this BIET DICOM VIEWER application is that it can only display the DICOM images of patients obtained through medical imaging systems. Once the images are displayed in the viewer, the doctor can do manipulations such as the window scaling, gray level scaling and RGB. Using these manipulations on the image, the doctor is able to diagnose the medical conditions in that particular patient's image. [7],[8]

Another feature of this application is displaying the bony and soft tissues of the images. The application has been coded such that it is able to display the bone part of the image in a whitish background. It is also coded to display the soft tissues of the image. This feature helps the doctor in manipulating the image faster for diagnosing the diseases.


  Results and Discussion Top


a. Base unit

· Login form

Here, the physician's needs to login to access his/her account. If a new physician or a doctor who does not have an account and needs to create an account, he/she needs to click on the "New Doctor Registration" and register with a unique user name and password [Figure 2], [Figure 3] and [Figure 4].
Figure 2: Login form

Click here to view
Figure 3: Home page

Click here to view
Figure 4: Home page of the application BIET DICOM VIEWER viewed on the android phone

Click here to view


· Home page

Once the physician has accessed his/her account, the next activity page is the Home page of the physicians. In the home page, he can select any one of the six operations. [7]

b. Mobile unit

The figure shows the BIET DICOM viewer home page

[Figure 5], [Figure 6], and [Figure 7] show the images manipulated by doctor in mobile unit.
Figure 5: The output view on the android phone showing result for differentiating between bones and soft tissues (window scaling)

Click here to view
Figure 6: The mobile viewsƒ{In patient with sudden unconsciousness, axial computed tomography brain image reveals hemorrhage seen in the left thalamus with extension into left lateral ventricle

Click here to view
Figure 7: The output view on the android phone showing the result for RGB

Click here to view


In critical patients like symptoms of unconsciousness, stroke- remote access of CT image on mobile device helps in early reporting by radiologist and fastens the treatment process. In developing countries like India, where number of radiologists is less, remote access on mobile devices helps in expert opinion even in remote rural places.


  Advantages and Applications Top


Advantages

  1. Application provides physicians and doctors the ability to quickly view the DICOM images on their mobile smart phones for faster diagnostic and therapeutic use
  2. Potentially powerful means of improving the quality of health monitoring by providing immediate remote access of medical images
  3. Improved health care facility, in rural communities, thereby improving quality of life
  4. Easy to operate
  5. Irrespective of geographical location of doctor, even while travelling, patients are benefitted by doctor's opinion.


Applications

  1. This teleradiology improves health care in rural communities, where specialist doctors are unavailable for giving immediate report for the patient.



  Conclusion Top


As wireless technology is becoming an important part of health care centers, our project intended to use small and portable mobile devices for the assistance of healthcare personnel. The use of powerful PDAs equipped with WLAN, advanced operating system that are capable of running sophisticated software assists the consultants and doctors. It enables the remote access of patient information and images through his wireless handheld devices. Development of such applications will enable to provide better healthcare facilities in time to patients.

 
  References Top

1.Woodward B, Istepanian RS, Richards CI. Design of a telemedicine system using a mobile telephone. IEEE Trans Inf Technol Biomed 2001;5:13-5.   Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Yamauchi K, Chen W, Wei D. 3G mobile phone applications in telemedicine a survey. Proceedings of the 2005 The Fifth International Conference on Computer and Information Technology (CIT′05).   Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Tang F, Law MY, Lee AC, Chan LW. A mobile phone integrated health care delivery system of medical images. J Digit Imaging 2004;17:217-25.   Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Malecha G, Morriset G, Shinnar A, Wisnesky R. Toward a verified relational database management system. Harward University, Cambria, MA, USA.   Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.Pavlopoulos S, Kyriacou E, Berler A, Dembeyiotis S, Koutsouris D. A novel emergency telemedicine mobile system -AMBULANCE. IEEE Trans Inf Technol Biomed 1998;2:261-7.   Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.NEMA Standards Publication PS 3.x. Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM). National Electrical Manufacturers Association; 2101 L Street, N.W., Washington D. C. 20037.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.Gonzale RC, Woods RE (2008) Digital Image Processing. 3 rd edition.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.Lach JM, Vázquez RM. Simulation model of the telemedicine program. Proceedings of the 2004 Winter Simulation Conference. p. 956-60.  Back to cited text no. 8
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7]



 

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