By Barbara Dumery
Over the weekend, while I was going back-and-forth
with my 5 and 7-year-old boys about what
they should be for Halloween, I realized there was a lot to consider when
deciding on a costume, similar to when designing a mobile app for
radiologists. Long past are the days
when a simple ghost made out of an old white sheet would pass the kid test,
never mind the temperature test – at home in New England, we had snow on the
ground last Halloween! And radiologists
have a few more needs than clinicians that must be met in order for them to
consider adopting a mobile workflow.
The conclusion I came to? There are four main
factors that we need to take into consideration when choosing a Halloween
costume and designing a mobile application for medical imaging.
App: An app that can pull up
imaging results, but doesn’t allow you to edit, share or sign off on them is
debilitating to the radiology workflow and therefore impractical. A huge portion of a radiologist’s time is
spent reviewing and signing reports, especially in academic hospitals, so why
not make it so they can do so on-the-go whether they are off site at a meeting,
in between visits, or taking their kids trick-or-treating.
Costume: Asking to be Tarzan or a boxer
when you live in New England is not exactly what I’d call practical. Neither is the idea of making a C-3PO from
Star Wars for an alien zombie flying in a UFO.
While ultimately the costume decision is up to my two boys, it doesn’t
hurt to guide them to some less-complicated, slightly warmer, costume
App – Until higher resolution displays hit the market recently, the
practical application of mobile devices in radiology failed to exist. How
efficient can a radiologist be if they can’t view images? The visual capability
of these devices breathes new life into mHealth for radiology and should be a
top consideration when designing the use case for your app.
Costume – You must remember that your children need to be able to get around
in this costume, especially in the dark.
A big mask that keeps sliding down their face or eye holes that are too
small are going to lead to some cuts and bruises when the first tree stump or
cobblestone comes along.
App - In order to ensure adoption of new mobile technologies, app
developers must strive to offer a ubiquitous user experience across all devices
and platforms. As the demand for these applications increases, so will the
degree of work performed on them. Therefore, it’s only natural that
radiologists will come to expect more desktop-like capabilities be made
available on their mobile devices. Traditional desktop tools, such as DICOM
image viewers and EHR portals, have already made their way into the mobile
arena. Experience enhancing tools like these will undoubtedly fuel the adoption
of mobile applications across the healthcare continuum.
Costume – If your son or daughter
tells their friends that they are going to be X, then they are expecting to see
an exact replica of that character when you show up to their house to go
trick-or-treating. I recommend you focus
on the 3-4 main characteristics of that character and ensure they are
incorporated into the costume.
App: To provide optimal value,
mobile apps must be able to keep up with the expected efficiency that comes
with a mobile workflow. The average
word-per-minute (WPM) data entry via on-screen/physical keyboards falls between
25-40 WPM. With hosted services, like speech recognition, data can be captured
3-5 times faster than tap typing. Speech
recognition also makes it easy to pull up macros and templates, saving time
especially with the routine things that are said every time.
Costume: Unless you’re town-hopping to
get in a few nights of trick-or-treating, your son or daughter is really only
looking at 2 hours to grab all the candy they can. With this is mind, you want to avoid anything
that restricts movement – tight pants or capes – or involves carrying a few
props that are bound to fall out of their
hands a few times along the route.
Dumery is the Director of Diagnostics Solutions Marketing at Nuance
Communications. She joined Nuance in 2006 and has over 15 years of
experience in healthcare IT. Nuance Healthcare is the market leader in
providing clinical understanding solutions that accurately capture and
transform the patient story into meaningful, actionable information. Prior to
joining Nuance, Barbara was the Senior Product Manager at eMed Technologies.
She graduated from Tufts University in ’95 with a BSEE in Electrical
Engineering and in ’97 with an MSEE in Electrical Engineering, Biomedical