Newly launched MedPix open access medical image database now open to the public

Bethesda 24 September 2006A new open access medical image database is now available to the public. This archive of peer-reviewed and pathologically proven cases - Radiology, Pathology, Endoscopy, Ophthalmology - includes a library of over 29.000 medical images from more than 6700 cases. Each image is captioned and catalogued, and can be downloaded for local teaching. MedPix is hosted by the Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, at the Uniformed Services University (USUHS), in Bethesda, Maryland, a Federal medical school. The technology behind the web site was patented by a USUHS Professor, James G. Smirniotopoulos, MD - Chair of Radiology and Radiological Sciences - and is also licensed to the American College of Radiology (ACR).

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MedPix is a fully interactive product for storing, retrieving, and searching against a variety of medically relevant parameters. The interfaces are dynamic and the database is relational, providing a robust information tool that is now available to medical professionals anywhere in the world via the Internet. Additionally, interactive diagnostic and teaching services may also be provided, allowing multiple physicians to access and discuss multimedia files, and allowing physicians a remote learning or expert platform by which interactive multimedia files may be created and the learning process facilitated via an automated programme. The patent for MedPix was issued in July 2006.

The most prominent features of the MedPix invention include remote user input of case files; a verification process limiting access to new case files until approved by peer reviewers; a peer review process whereby users with comment privileges can append comment data to a case file; enhanced case files, comprising simple and complex relationships, including a linking of related case files by specified components - e.g., the same patient file linked to multiple topics and image files; interactive training systems for selectively displaying case file information, further linked to a training table including expert training file information interactively responsive to user-selected inputs, and also linked to a training table for storing student results; a consultative programme system for selectively presenting case file information for contemporaneous or real-time review of multimedia medical case files; and privacy and access limitation features.

MedPix now incorporates tools and systems for generation of on-line testing with automatic scoring, report generation, and pre-test/post-test scenarios linked to on-line lectures for dynamic assessment of teaching efficacy. MedPix also includes a new "diagnostic match" service. Search parameters retrieve a series of images from the database, and these may be compared to an unknown image being evaluated remotely.

MedPix was reviewed at the recent meeting of the Association of University Radiologists in April 2006, and was ranked as the number two non-commercial teaching file, and number five in the overall evaluation.

Here are some sample searches:

MedPix is a distance learning tool, providing free Category 1 CME for Physicians and CEU for Nurses: http://rad.usuhs.mil/medpix/parent.php3?mode=cow_sorter MedPix also provides an Atlas function to display images with comparable meta-data: For more pictures, you can visit the MedPix primary portal. For more information, you can contact Professor James G. Smirniotopoulos, M.D.


Leslie Versweyveld

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