From pandas to xrays: Image expert creates iPad viewer to allows radiologists to share files, collaborate in real time

Photo sharing is easy now but remember the days of starting with negatives and scanners and then hoping the person could see the file on another computer?

When it comes to medical images, many doctors and hospital systems are still in those frustrating days of not being able to share images quickly and easily with colleagues.
A DreamWorks engineer, a UI architect and a radiologist are working to solve that problem with nephosity.
Michael Pan was working on Kung Fu Panda on the render platform team — which means generating images in real time for the artists drawing the characters — when his brother John — a radiologist — came to him with a challenge.
“He wanted collaborative access to medical images anywhere, any time,” Pan said. “He said, ‘Can you build me an app for the iPad to view images?’ The ability to pan and zoom was very important.”
Pan and his co-founder Zai Chang solved this problem with the MobileCT suite which includes a medical image viewer for the iPad and the cloud image archive and collaboration server.  The viewer allows a doctor to zoom, pan and rotate an image quickly and without losing resolution. Nephosity offers several storage options, including a public cloud, a private cloud, or a more traditional storage solution. Nephosity’s differentiating feature is the collaboration element.
“Two docs can work together even though they are not in the same location because the screens are synced up,” Pan said. “Everything he does is reflected on my screen. There is a shared cursor feature, and annotations are sharable as well.”
Pan presented at the RockHealth Class of 2012 graduation day in June. His presentation was impressive as he and co-founder Zai Chang shared an image and traded off control of it in front of the crowd. I didn’t mind going without wifi access since the bandwidth was being used to illustrate such an elegant product.

Zia Chang

Market potential
Nephosity’s plan is to disrupt the PACS market, which is growing at 11% per year with projected global revenues of $2.8 billion in 2012 and $5.4 billion in 2017. Pan and his brother identified these pain points in the picture archive and communications systems (PACS) that doctors and hospitals use:

  • Mobility of images
  • Speed of transfer
  • Compatibility of images
  • Collaboration

“Fifteen percent of CDs are unreadable because different hospital systems have different computers,” Pan said.
Pan identified two market segments for the MobileCT product. The iPad image viewer would be an add-on for hospitals in America, Europe, and Japan with existing PACS installations. Nephosity would sell the entire suite to hopsitals in developing nations as an end-to-end solution and more affordable way to install a PACS system.
Pan said his solution is PACS vendor agnostic and can be installed in a hospital in a single day.
“We eliminate transfer time because it’s all in cloud,” he said.

Michael Pan

The team
Pan is the CEO and has more than 10 years experience in the development and deployment of distributed, grid, and cloud computing paradigms in enterprise settings. Chang is the user interface architect and has more than 6 years of experience building traditional, touch and gestural user interfaces as well as data visualization programs.

John J. Pan, MD, MBA, MPH is a medical advisor to nephosity. He is board certified in diagnostic radiology, and currently serves as the Director of Musculoskeletal and Spine Interventions and the Director of the Musculoskeletal Imaging and Intervention Fellowship at Harvard’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital.
The company is looking for a seed round of financing and can be reached at [email protected]

[Image from flickr user herby_fr]

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