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iViews Keeps Simplicity in Sight
LESLIE GOLDBERG, ASSOCIATE EDITOR
When you are looking at image-viewing software, don't get distracted by bells and whistles," advises Robert Wang, MD, a vitreoretinal specialist at Texas Retina Associates. "Those make the system more complex, and you rarely use them in daily clinical practice. You just want to rapidly see and compare images."
Dr. Wang believes that the iViews imaging system (Chace and Associates Technologies, Dunedin, FL) has accomplished this task. iViews allows users to aggregate and review diagnostic images from a multitude of devices on a computer wherever imaging and electronic reports are needed for evaluation. Users can view images across multiple dates by serial analysis in side-by-side comparisons. It accommodates both video and still images.
Dr. Wang finds the interface straightforward and intuitive. He is able to compare multiple images in the office or from anywhere with an Internet connection, which is very useful for his practice, as it has 13 satellite locations, the furthest being 600 miles away.
Odette M. Houghton, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology and a vitreoretinal specialist at UNC, likes iViews because it can be easily accessed online anywhere. "You can pull images off a Web site and use them anywhere in the hospital, as well as at satellite offices in private practices. What I like about this system is that it pulls up all the images at once and then allows you to select the images you want to see without any time delay."
This can be one of the biggest frustrations with viewing software, Dr. Wang says, since loading full-size images can slow down a system. "If you can't rapidly see your images, doctors will toss the system out. iViews' compression technology has really improved. You can see large hi-res images and save bandwidth with the system."
Dr. Houghton consulting the iViews system.
Another advantage for Dr. Wang's practice is that iViews integrates seamlessly with their EMR system. "The transition is not even noticeable. I prefer pulling up the large-screen images available in iViews to seeing the thumbnail images that many EMR systems provide. Images that small are not useful to us."
Dr. Houghton says there is virtually no learning curve with the system. She appreciates the versatility of being able to pull up just that day's patients, alphabetically by last name or by searching for a specific name. There is also a function that allows users to compare OCT images from date to date. Another convenient option, she says, is that the system has icons, so users can select the fluorescein angiogram, visual fields, or OCTs icon and view just those images without having to root through all of the patient's images.
UNC professor Reece Landers, MD, one of the earliest adopters of iViews, says it has evolved gradually and continues to improve with the adoption of recommendations made by those using the system. He says the system is very cost-efficient and particularly good at allowing users to connect essentially any piece of image-generating equipment in the ophthalmology department to the system without difficulty or a need for secondary hardware.
iViews has a database connection feature that allows embedded review capabilities for images from many device manufacturers (eg, Zeiss, Heidelberg, Eyesys, Optos). It also connects well to many EMR systems, such as NextGen, Medinformatics, GE Centricity, Mountain Medical, SSR, and Oscar.
There are default macros for a right/left eye split, a historical display, and a stereoscopic display. Also, there is the ability to create custom macros to suit users' needs. Images can be exported in bulk or individually, with or without patient demographics.
Dr. Wang recommends that when looking for an image-viewing system, try to imagine it in your practice. "Speed and the ability to compare images are the most important features. Regardless of the imaging software, this is what you need to be happy with a system," he says. RP
For more information, visit iViewsimaging.com or phone Chace and Associates Technologies at (877) 734-8393.