Digital mammography: a world without film?
Lloyd S., Jirotka M., Simpson AC., Highnam RP., Gavaghan DJ., Watson D., Brady JM.
OBJECTIVES: eDiaMoND is a next generation Internet ("Grid") multidisciplinary research project funded by the UK e-Science Programme with the following objectives; the development of a next generation Internet enabled prototype to demonstrate the potential benefits of a national infrastructure to support digital mammography; the exploration of potential benefits for digital mammography systems, with particular emphasis being placed on selected applications, namely, screening, training, computer-aided detection and appropriate support for epidemiological studies. METHODS: EDiaMoND has worked in conjunction with selected clinical partners to enable the collection of valuable mammography information and the design of applications based upon extensive requirements gathering exercises. The clinical partners validated both the immediate needs and assisted with defining future needs of such an architecture to support the UK Health Service. RESULTS: The project has succeeded in invoking the interest of clinical partners and representatives of the UK NHS Breast Screening Programme in our vision of a world without film, albeit a long way off. The project has also succeeded in identifying the barriers to adopting this approach with the current limitations within the NHS, and has developed a blueprint for working towards this strategy. CONCLUSIONS: A UK national digital mammography archive has the potential to provide major benefits for the UK. For example, such an archive could: ensure that previous mammograms are always available, and could link up seamlessly the screening, assessment and symptomatic clinics; it could provide a huge teaching and training resource; it could be a huge resource for epidemiological studies.