iPhone/Android app allows doctors to quickly diagnose stroke

May 9, 2011
iPhone Stroke

iPhone/Android app helps doctors look at brain scans and other diagnostic images (credit: University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine)

Doctors can now make a stroke diagnosis using an iPhone/Android app with close to the same accuracy as a diagnosis at a medical computer workstation, researchers from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine have shown in a new study.

The Resolution MD Mobile app lets physicians view and manipulate remote medical images in high-resolution 3-D on the iPhone or Android phone, allowing for a quick diagnosis for the treatment of stroke, cardiac arrest, or other emergencies. The app allows for real-time access to specialists such as neurologists, regardless of where the physicians and patients are located, and is particularly well-suited for rural medical settings.

In the study, Neuroradiologists looked at 120 recent consecutive non-contrast computed tomography (NCCT) brain scans and 70 computed tomography angiogram (CTA) head scans that were obtained from the Calgary Stroke Program database. Scans were read by two neuroradiologists, on a medical diagnostic workstation and on an iPhone.

The app allows for advanced visualization, and the study showed that it is between 94% and 100% accurate, compared to a medical workstation, for diagnosing acute stroke. “Time is critical for diagnosing stroke and starting treatment.  There are definitely benefits for doctors to have the ability to analyze and diagnose these images from virtually anywhere,” said University of Calgary neuro-radiologist Dr. Mayank Goyal, who designed the study.

The app was approved by Health Canada, so Canadian doctors can now legally make a primary diagnosis using a smartphone.