At The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center at Houston, an Oncolog article notes that radiologists, notwithstanding the critical analysis that accompanies new imaging results, still report results of patient imaging examinations in the same imprecise, inconsistent in content and clarity, narrative reporting style that has been employed for the more than 100 years since Dr. Wilhelm Roentgen first invented x-rays in 1895.
To address this problem, David J. Vining, M.D., a professor in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and the medical director of the Image Processing and Visualization Laboratory at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has developed a software system called ViSion that allows radiologists to create easy-to-use multimedia structured reports. Dr. Vining’s ViSion Structured Reporting solution seeks to shift reporting from an often imprecise and inconsistent qualitative approach to a quantitative one, leveraging a robust database with a user-friendly graphical interface that will facilitate quick and accurate pull-up and comparison of test results and imaging.
“We’re an image-centric field, Dr. Vining told MD Anderson Oncolog “and we need to use images to our advantage,” noting that ViSion works similarly to Facebook. For instance, just as Facebook allows users to tag images with names of people and events, ViSion enables radiologists to tag key radiology images with anatomy and pathology terms, as well as the narrative descriptions dictated by radiologists.
Photo Caption: A software system developed by MD Anderson professor David Vining MD displays radiology reports as a graphical representations of a patient with key images linked to anatomical sites – Image Credit: MD Anderson Cancer Center
Medical software startup VisionSR, founded by Dr. Vining who is also the company’s CEO, has announced that it has licensed an advanced, multimedia structured, reporting diagnostic radiology technology for ViSion that is the intellectual property of the MD Anderson Cancer Center. The technology is described as having potential to create personalized health records, support clinical trial management, and facilitate big data applications.
The ViSion software works by capturing key diagnostic images and radiologists’ voice descriptions. It then tags the images using terminology that describes anatomical locations and radiological diagnoses, and assembles a multimedia structured report based on these data. This system provides means for linking image findings from serial radiological exams in order to create disease timelines for each specific disease site.
ViSion also integrates additional medical information to create a “lifetime medical” graph depicting a patient’s major medical events as icons overlaid on an interactive timeline. Clicking on an event brings information in a patient’s records about specific medical events forward making them readily available, according to VisionSR’s founder and chief executive officer Dr. David Vining.
“The system is applicable to any image-based medical specialty, including radiology, pathology, cardiology, gastroenterology, dermatology and the like,” Dr. Vining notes. “It is tedious and time consuming for radiologists and other physicians to painstakingly review a complex medical record that may contain numerous imaging studies, laboratory and pathology results, photographs, surgical reports, and treatment records of a patient who has cancer, been badly injured, or has a chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease. ViSion simplifies the process of accessing this data by presenting it in an easy-to-comprehend visual format.”
The ViSon software provides clinicians with a means to link imaging findings to prior exams in order to generate disease timelines for each disease site . This allows physicians to monitor progression of disease through changing images while listening to the radiologist’s assessment of each finding. The software also automates the use of Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) by enabling physicians to generate graphs showing tumor progression or response to therapy.
In addition to the potential it offers for improving accuracy and efficiency in radiology reporting, ViSion can also aggregate quantitative metrics from serial radiological studies to automate disease response criteria, such as RECIST . ViSion is also capable of data-mining information contained in disease timelines and lifetime graphs to yield outcomes in patient cohorts, information that helps sharpen treatment decisions and further predict prognoses. Dr. Vining’s software development team also incorporated a feature enabling automatic notification of critical results with return receipt verification, thus providing means for radiologists to effectively communicate important results to referring physicians and to track results of those interactions.
ViSion interfaces with any image display workstation or picture archiving and communication system running a Microsoft operating system, thus making it widely accessible. Prototype versions of the ViSion software are designed to run in parallel with any PACS or advanced imaging system, and have been demonstrated in exhibits at recent meetings of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) . Dr. Vining most recently delivered presentations about the ViSion system at the RSNA 2014 annual meeting and at the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) held in Vienna last month.
Dr. Vining has been involved in the development of structured reporting software since 1999, when he founded PointDx, the first multimedia structured reporting software company to launch a commercial product. PointDx was demonstrated at the 2003 RSNA, where it was integrated with Stentor PACS and IDX RIS. IDX acquired the company in 2004, and IDX in turn was acquired by GE Healthcare in 2005.
For more information about VisionSR and ViSion software and a BioNews Texas interview with Dr. Vining, see:
MD Anderson Oncolog
MD Anderson Cancer Center
MD Anderson Cancer Center