GE is one of the oldest countries in America. They have led the way in so many technologies that it is really no surprise that they are leading the way in mHealth apps. GE Healthcare announced yesterday that their Centricity Radiology Mobile Access App has received FDA clearance for Advanced DiagnosticCT and MR Image Review. This is not the first app to receive clearance, but it is probably the most important thus far.
A recent study from ABI Research predicted that the mobile health app market is on track to hit $400 million by 2016 (up from $120 million in 2010), and with that much money on the table, you have to think major companies are looking to see how they care share the wealth. One thing that is undoubtedly holding some companies back is not knowing what regulations are going to be placed on mHealth apps. With the Centricity Radiology Access App receiving their 510(k) clearance I have to think more companies will be following suit ver quickly.
While there is still some uncertainty as to what regulations may still be coming, announcements like this have to embolden other companies to get their own apps on the market. We aren’t just talking about apps that measure your exercise, or give you tips about staying healthy. These are apps that can greatly enhance patient experiences, drastically cut diagnosis times, decrease pain, and possibly even save lives.
The app allows radiologists to provide review and diagnose images while away from their hospital workstation within moments of the scans being taken, reducing test result wait times. Most of your time as a patient is spent waiting for various phases of the visit to take place. If they can dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes for tests to come back then the whole process will be expedited.
From the press release:
Centricity Radiology Mobile Access 2.0 is the industry’s only mobile product with clearance for primary diagnosis that accesses images and reports from Centricity PACS. This new mode of access removes a sizable productivity barrier for an increasingly mobile field.
“This application and its diagnostic clearance provide further validation of our continued investment in our Centricity PACS platform,” said Don Woodlock, Vice President and General Manager of GE Healthcare IT. “As a native application for the Apple iOS and Android operating systems, Centricity Radiology Mobile Access requires very little training and, we believe, provides a more productive user experience versus an emulated Windows application that was designed to be driven by a mouse. Today, Centricity PACS stores one in five exams in the US. These advanced wireless capabilities will only expand its utility.”
While this is clearly of great benefit to the radiology community, it is important news for the mHealth industry as a whole. I have said for a long time that the real boom of mHealth will be when the major companies put their minds and money behind development to generate apps that truly help save lives. Seeing more apps receive their 510(k) clearance from the FDA will only help push the movement forward.