Scotland is commissioning innovative new software as it prepares to roll out a new national screening programme for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA).
NHSScotland has forged a partnership with suppliers IMAGE Information Systems and Atos to deliver the technology, which will mark the first large-scale vascular screening system rollout in the world.
The solution will be used by NHSScotland staff at all stages of the new screening process, which will call all men aged 65 for AAA checks. The aim of the process is to significantly reduce the mortality rate across the male population.
To provide a solution for storing, viewing, distributing, and reporting on DICOM medical images, IMAGE Information Systems has developed a solution that includes recall, clinic, alerts, organisational, participant and letter management as well as electronic referrals to vascular services and standardised auditing.
Procedures are performed in dedicated centres and mobile screening units and the iQ vascular screening system automatically detects measurements in DICOM data and hands them over to the screening management system. All images are stored in a central web-based server, with previous images available for both online and offline screening units using the iQ-ROUTER PREMIUM prefetching manager.
Scottish Health Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, said: "Abdominal aortic aneurysms are a hidden killer which affects one in 20 men in Scotland, most of whom will be unaware that they have the condition.
"Sadly, the first sign of a problem for many men will be when the aneurysm ruptures and, by that time, it's often too late - if left unscreened more than 8 in 10 ruptures can prove fatal.
"But a simple 10-minute scan can detect the aneurysm, enabling treatment to begin and saving hundreds of lives each year."
The £2m screening programme will be fully operations by December 2013 and is expected to be cost-neutral as screening should lead to fewer emergency operations.