Please put questions in comments at bottom of post. Thanks!
Immediate, contactless delivery of your radiology images – no more CDs, no more need to wait around or pay Fedex or put on your mask to come in and pick up the disk. Imaging studies delivered in the cloud.
Ladies & gentlemen: I’m THRILLED to announce that I’m the new “Chief Patient Officer” for Toronto-based “Gimme My DaM Data” radiology image retriever PocketHealth. This engagement is a direct result of my opening keynote at the SIIM conference in 2018, which I blogged about back then: “A speech to remember.” Toronto radiologist Ben Fine was in the audience, and when the time was right, connected us.
Founded in 2015, PocketHealth has hundreds of installations in Canada, with hundreds of thousands of patient-customers who’ve retrieved their images. Recently the company has been quietly expanding into the US, and with their first round of investor funding this year, they’re ready to start scaling up.
Of course the US health “system” is vastly different from Canada’s so this is going to be … interesting. There’s work to be done, but it’s starting, and the company truly has its head and heart in the right place.
What it does
A PocketHealth server app installed in the radiology department lets a patient log in to PH and receive all the images they’re entitled to. Your images are securely pushed up into the PocketHealth cloud; from there you can download, or share a link with another provider for a second opinion or clinical trial or any reason you want. Or go nuts and burn your own CD, if you want.:-)
This means image delivery no longer requires the provider to spend time, labor, and expense of CD burning, and for you the patient, everything should be much easier. And both parties avoid unnecessary personal contact in the COVID-19 era.
(Actually, you don’t have to “send” the images anywhere, and there’s not even an app to install: the mobile-friendly website has a built-in radiology viewer.)
Why I like it
This spring PocketHealth and I had an initial three month engagement to get to know each other, and I have to say, they’re genuinely driven by the patient’s needs, and not in the too-common mode of “Patients are so important – um, can I get my billion now?”
The two brothers Rishi and Harsh Nayyar founded the company after Harsh had a tennis injury requiring radiology, and they gave him a CD. “What am I supposed to do with this,” he thought. He worked at Google and his brother Rishi was an investment banker. They started the company and put in four years building the technology the old way – bootstrapping / self-funded. So, from the outset the company’s been about solving the patient’s problem.
Example: a few weeks ago I told a friend about this, and she said, “So, obviously, they sell the patients’ image data to researchers, right?” I asked Rishi and he was appalled! So they added a statement to the website: “Your records are never sold or shared – unless you share them yourself.”
See pocket.health/patients for more info. I’ll be posting more about the company as the weeks go by. And again, put questions in the comments so others can see.
And of course, this is the radiology version of my decade of advocating for OpenNotes.
p.s. Yes I’m still doing speeches.
This is not an exclusive engagement: both PocketHealth and I agree that it’s in everyone’s interest to stay active in the community. Because it really is about what patients need and want – individually and as a community.