Giving patients access to their medical records is often easier said than done—until now. A new imaging sharing project led by Mount Sinai Medical Center in conjunction with four other health care enterprises will allow patients to use the so-called “cloud” to store and distribute their medical imaging records.

The Phase one results of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Image Share project were recently presented at the American Roentgen Ray Society Annual Meeting in Vancouver.

Mount Sinai was the first site to go live in August 2011 and currently has about 190 patients enrolled in the project. A total of about 600 patients are participating in all sites, which also include the University of California – San Francisco, the University of Chicago Medical Center, the Mayo Clinic, and the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.

To use the RSNA Image Share, patients create an account and password. They are then given access to import their images and reports into the personal health record account. For patient confidentiality and security reasons, when information leaves the server at each local radiology site and goes outside a hospital’s firewall, it remains encrypted until it arrives in the patient’s account where it’s decrypted so the patient can see it.

In phase two of the trial, patients will be allowed to share their images without the images first being uploaded to an Internet-based personal health record. In phase three, the data will be de-identified and then made available for clinical trials.

(Source: Press Release)