RadVault pledges efficient image storage and delivery

May 9, 2001

Imaging veteran Dr. Peter Rothschild, who helped popularize open MRI, is now trying to generate interest in an image storage and delivery service called RadVault. The service, initiated in April, is headed by Rothschild and E. Larry Atkins. They hope to

Imaging veteran Dr. Peter Rothschild, who helped popularize open MRI, is now trying to generate interest in an image storage and delivery service called RadVault. The service, initiated in April, is headed by Rothschild and E. Larry Atkins. They hope to provide practitioners and patients with a convenient means of storing and accessing medical images.

“RadVault is the next generation in the delivery and storage of medical images,” said Rothschild, RadVault CEO and cofounder, who also serves as an adjunct assistant professor of radiology at the University of California, San Francisco.

Under the new system, clients who use RadVault may designate images for transmission to radiologists, referring physicians, and even patients. No time-consuming download of data is required-the images are automatically sent, or “pushed,” to specific designees at specific locations.

Using viewing software provided by RadVault, the images may be reviewed at an office-based workstation or personal computer. The company stores images for the lifetime of each patient, said company president Atkins.

“Doctors will have instant access to all their patients’ images,” Rothschild said. “The key thing with our product is no loss of data-we don’t use compression. We want to make sure that every bit of data gets transmitted from the imaging equipment to the physician’s computer.”

RadVault began enlisting customers in mid-April. Atkins and Rothschild are scheduled to kick off a marketing tour in early May to build the customer base further. The service may especially benefit imaging centers that complete fewer than 20,000 procedures per year. For those, an expensive PACS often doesn’t make sense, Rothschild said.

Centers pay a monthly rather than per-transaction fee to store and access patient images. For this fee, which can be as low as $3900 for imaging centers with a single modality, subscribers are guaranteed secure image delivery, an unlimited number of RadVault viewers, unlimited image access and storage, and confirmation and tracking capabilities.

In one scenario, a patient might enter an imaging center for an MRI examination. The patient’s radiologist would typically receive the images, but the patient can request that images also be sent to a referring physician, as well as his or her own PC. Following the exam, the data are encrypted and automatically transmitted to and backed up at a central storage system. The data might then be transmitted to multiple sites.

“We’re using the Internet to transmit our information because it’s the most efficient way,” Rothschild said. “Other than that, there’s nothing we have in common with dot-coms. We are part of the electronic patient record-we’re really not selling anything.”