LifeIMAGE, a provider of solutions for universal e-sharing of medical images, will launch its new LINCS service at the 2011 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) conference.

The network is designed to help physicians improve patient care and reduce costs by ‘setting free’ medical images, allowing physicians to share medical images and associated information with each other, with medical centers and with their patients. LINCS eliminates information system and geographic barriers, allowing images to be shared everywhere, whether it’s with the hospital down the street or a specialist on the other side of the world.

LifeIMAGE will also host a press briefing at RSNA on innovations and advances in image sharing technology including the company’s critical role in the NIH-funded Image Share program, on Tuesday, November 29, at 3:30 p.m. CST. “lifeIMAGE pioneered image sharing technology, so it’s appropriate that we are playing a central role in national efforts to take image sharing to the next level.” – Hamid Tabatabaie co-founder & CEO of lifeIMAGE

Imaging is the second-most costly component of healthcare spending, right behind pharmaceuticals. Advancing image sharing technology will reduce healthcare costs and improve patient care, which is especially critical during this time of healthcare reform.”

LINCS creates new physician network An extension of lifeIMAGE’s existing platform, LINCS is a network that allows physicians to connect and exchange imaging information with existing colleagues, as well as specialists they may never have met.

Using LINCS, a primary-care physician who needs to connect with an expert oncologist for a patient consult can use the LINCS directory function to find and contact an appropriate connection.

LINCS allows physicians and patients to quickly receive imaging and other medical records, and provides a platform for these records to be seamlessly added to personal health records (PHRs) or institutional electronic medical record (EMR) systems. It creates a unified communication platform for medical image sharing that has significant benefits for both providers and patients.

Providers can easily and quickly access patients’ test results, allowing for more accuracy and fewer tests; they can also use LINCS to share test results and clinical work with referring physicians or patients, who in turn can share the information as needed. Patients can then access their records as needed, and have the peace of mind that their healthcare providers have access to their most current medical images. LINCS adds a new dimension of physician access for the healthcare system.

lifeIMAGE co-founder Amy Vreeland tells a very personal story of how LINCS can connect physicians – and benefit patients. When her father’s diagnosis in Montana suggested the need for hip replacement, Vreeland created a LINCS account and connected with a specific orthopedic surgeon in Boston. That surgeon reviewed the images to determine if her father would be a good candidate for a specialized treatment.

My dad got the right treatment from the best possible doctor – and importantly, he didn’t have to fly across the country to get the right advice,” said Vreeland, who is senior vice president of product management at lifeIMAGE.

lifeIMAGE is Cornerstone of RSNA Image Share Program Also at RSNA, Tabatabaie and David Mendelson, M.D. will discuss ‘what’s next’ in medical image sharing. This includes the RSNA Image Share program, a secure, web-based image-sharing network that is being piloted at five academic institutions. The goal is to improve coordination among providers, other healthcare professionals, software developers and vendors to improve communication between physicians, healthcare systems and patients.

Image Share, which was launched by RSNA in 2009 with a grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), uses lifeIMAGE’s services to power several aspects of the program. At this year’s RSNA, lifeIMAGE will demonstrate an end-to-end set of services to enable image sharing services across hospitals, physicians and patients.