An Italian trade trial of the Carestream patient portal called MyVue shows an initial patient uptake of 15%.

The trial allows participating patients the opportunity to view their own radiological examinations and associated reports from the web.

MyVue can be used on devices such as the iPad and iPhone, and potentially on Android devices, as long as there is an Internet connection and the patient has the appropriate log-in details.

Hospital del Delta, Ferrara, Italy is hosting the trade trial. It has a catchment of 350,000 people and provides around 150,000 radiographic examinations each year.

Fabio Tigani, Carestream business development manager for southern Europe and Iberia, has been leading the trial.

“This trial aims to assess the solution from a technological angle, but the trial is also investigating the effectiveness of the distribution of images and examinations amongst patient users,” he told EHI Imaging Informatics.

Tigani highlighted that the Carestream patient portal means patients no longer need to visit the hospital when they want to view their results. “All they require is a web browser to access to the images.”

During the first six months of the trial, around 500 patients enrolled to use MyVue. To date, the research has found that the vast majority of patients using the patient portal were ‘very happy’ with it.

Tigani said that the number of calls made by patients to the MyVue helpline illustrated this. “We set up a helpline number for patients but we received fewer than 50 calls during the first six months of the trial.”

Giorgio Benea, head of diagnostic imaging at Hospital del Delta, Ferrara, said: “My Vue gives patient a closer connection to their radiological procedures and hence their clinical pathways.

“The trial initially revolved around MRI [magnetic resonance imaging] examinations and was gradually extended to other patients.

“For me the most significant outcome was that 98% of patients who participated in the trial were so enthusiastic about the project that they have decided to continue using it in the future.”

According to Tigani, MyVue might also help lower hospital administrative costs related to image storage.

“They will no longer need to print DVDs for image sharing. We have estimated that hospitals will convert up to 40% of patients to the patient portal within the next year.”

When asked what insight into the product Carestream had gleaned from the trial, Tigani said that it took a while to set up the workflow to enable patient access to the images.

“Patients access via a log-in with password- this took a while to set up to ensure it complied with the law and to implement the workflow so as to reduce impact on the organisations.”

Once accessed via password and log-in, patients may click an icon to share the images with GPs or other physicians or they may copy their images to a DVD.

Regarding workflow, Benea explained that the technology allowed the diagnostic medical imaging pathway to become more efficient in their radiology department.

“Patients have found it as easy to understand as it is to access their files. When patients arrive at reception they are informed that they have the option to receive their images directly via the Internet.

“If they accept, they receive a password and links to their own personal webpage where exams have been loaded by email.”

Based on results of the trial to date, Carestream is now ready for commercialisation across Europe. Final results are expected at the end of March.