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A method for the authenticated reproduction of original digital medical records and images Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014995D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Jun-17
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 7 page(s) / 139K

Publishing Venue



Author: Uri Shani, Employee number 67760-4, IBM Research Lab in Haifa

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  A method for the authenticated reproduction of original digital medical records and images

Author: Uri Shani, Employee number 67760-4, IBM Research Lab in Haifa

Title: A Method for the Authenticated Reproduction of Original Digital Medical Records and Images

Chage History: Version Date By Whom Comments

1.0 12/08/98 Uri Shani Initial version submitted for evaluation

1.1 05/11/98 Uri Shani Added option of storing sgnatures in client hospitals. Additions are maked in blue ink. This extension was suggested by Ron Zass.

1.2 12/10/99 Uri Shani Reword the problem to be patentable


     Digital medical records including images are printed on film and paper and kept by hospitals in this form in large archives for many years. It is expensive to manage these archives, and it is hard to locate medical records when needed. The large part of the medical record consists of images whose original and prime capture form is digital. The digital medical record is managed by systems which are described as Medical PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System). While the images on the film are accepted as original evidence for patient's medical condition, there is no guarantee that the digital source of the images has not been altered sometime later. For that reason, hospitals need to keep the film and paper archives and bear significant expenses, which can be avoided if the medical PACS was trusted.


     Provide a means which will allow hospitals that work filmless usign PACS, to not have to keep records on films or paper, and provide a method that will replace the need for the original film and paper for any medical or legal purposes at any time after their capture.


     Medical records are traditionally composed mostly of medical images, which have been the center post of medical diagnosis ever since Roentgen's invention about a century ago. Films of medical images are responsible for a large and growing portion of the medical expenses in hospitals. The medical file (including mostly films, but also some paper forms) is kept in hard to manage archives such as depicted in Figure 1.


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Figure 1: A film archive.

The film/paper media suffers from many disadvantages:

Difficult to manage.

About 30% of cases cannot be found when needed (lost?).

Long time to get, long time before ward can see images of their patients.

When film is lost, patient needs another exam that increases care costs and health hazards.

When needed for legal reasons, missing it may cause large financial damages.

In general, film-less and paper-less hospitals has been the desire and an important goal of the medical community for many years. By using digital images instead of films and paper, it is possible to overcome most of the above disadvantages. It is commonly accepted that the paper-less and film-less hospital will increase dramatically the quality of medical care.

     Films are produced as a secondary form for most cases. Examples: CT (Computed Tomogr...