(Via News.com) UCLA’s Dr. Antoine Rosset creates Osirix, an open-source application, to enable radiologists to teleconference with the images on Mac desktop systems. "The platform has similar functionality (to the high-end workstations); it's accessible to the rest of the medical community, and you don't have to spend $100,000, $200,000, to view the images," Ratib said. The doctors were able to build the software using ready-made components and add the environment and interface themselves.
"Before we'd showed the platform it in any meeting, we had hundreds, and very soon thousands, of users." When it came time to find a way to store the high-resolution images, Ratib turned to another Apple staple - the iPod. "It was difficult finding enough space on the hard disk to keep image sets," Ratib said. "They don't fit on discs, they don't fit on memory sticks." "It's amazing. (With iPods), people are carrying around 60GB in their pocket, when I don't even have 60GB on my computer," he said. "That's the beauty of adopting consumer technology." In addition to using the iPod for storing image sets, Ratib adapted the software to be compatible with the iPod Photo after its release in December, giving medical staff a "cute, sexy" way to show images to other personnel. Despite warnings from analysts that all removeable storage-including the iPod-is a security risk, Ratib said that using an iPod doesn't present an additional inherent security risk. It is strongly recommended to anonymize the data The software is also enabling medical workers to start working remotely. Osirix is compatible with Apple's videoconferencing software, so physicians can see and share medical images. "We rigged the software to mimic the camera"... While at this, please read this article on historical cost of disk storage referred by Seth Godin.
My Take:This is an interesting development - we shall see moving forward all devices in the digital convergence space including lifestyle products - mobiles,PDA's beginning to get used for similar purposes. Come to think of it why not a family digital repository with all personal details - house mortgage, financial records, medical information etc stored in one special device.. the possibilities are endless. Not to forget the format wars that shall emerge and microsoft saying that they can integrated all these with windows/office paltform through their software... The key thing in convergence is - it may not be enough if just the digital lifestyle/ non lifestyle infrastructure come together or talk to each other - it is applications that run on top them like ostrix would be seen to be more value adding - thats what commoners would be able to relate better to.