As innovations in cancer screening through diagnostic imaging continue to help clinicians accurately detect and diagnose, challenges to the ability to share large file sizes have increased.
The rise in the usage of 3D mammograms has benefited patients, making it possible for radiologists to see breast tissue in greater detail and provide a more accurate diagnosis. But sharing these large image files has put a practical strain on technology resources. By partnering with eHealth Technologies—a leading imaging solutions provider for health information exchange—Rochester RHIO, the trusted resource for secure electronic health information for the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes regions of Upstate New York, has made it possible for early adopters of this latest technology to easily view and share 3D mammograms.
Traditional 2D images take 2 images of the breast and are relatively small file sizes, as compared to 3D tomosynthesis mammograms—which obtain approximately 300 low-dose radiation images from different angles. Storage of file sizes as well as compatibility issues with sharing tomosynthesis images —or tomos—create a challenge for healthcare providers to offer this cutting-edge technology. eHealth Technologies has implemented a solution for Rochester RHIO participants that are high-volume, frontrunners of this new technology—like Elizabeth Wende Breast Care—to increase ease of viewing and secure sharing with other facilities.
eHealth Technologies was able to leverage its hybrid federated image sharing architecture to make these extraordinarily large format imaging files part of the normal flow of images across the region. Users can now access them directly through the Rochester RHIO clinical portal, overcoming previous limitations that these large images caused.
“As new technologies such as breast tomosynthesis are adopted, responding in a timely manner can be a challenge for members of the healthcare ecosystem,” says Gary Larson, Executive Vice President, General Manager, HIE Solutions, eHealth Technologies. “eHealth Connect® Image Exchange has been designed to rapidly adapt to these innovations to the benefit of everyone, especially patients. We will continue to be responsive to other advances in medical imaging, and the changing landscape of how users manage, interact with, and share data through our platform.”
Studies have found that screening with 3D mammography increases breast cancer detection rates by about 40% and 3D mammograms find more cancers than traditional 2D mammograms, especially for younger women. 3D mammograms also reduce the number of false-positives, a common criticism of 2D mammography.
“3D mammography, also called digital breast tomosynthesis, offers higher breast cancer detection, fewer callbacks and additional imaging, better visualization of tissue and is beneficial to all patients—especially those with risk factors for breast cancer and dense breast tissue. 3D mammography at Elizabeth Wende Breast Care utilizes 2D synthesized images for comparison with prior digital mammograms to minimize the total amount of radiation for the patient,” says Stamatia V. Destounis, MD, FACR from Elizabeth Wende Breast Care. “Making these images available to share with all of a patient’s caregivers is essential to providing the highest level of patient care.”