How mobile access to medical images saved a baby’s life

As a pediatric surgeon at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, I cannot understate how important it is for physicians to access use mobile devices to view vital patient information including medical images. Here’s my first-hand story of how viewing medical images on an iPad saved an infant’s life.

As a pediatric surgeon at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, the first facility in Central Florida to provide emergency care exclusively for pediatrics, I frequently face traumatic situations. However, like most doctors, I’m not always at the hospital. Before cloud-based medical image exchanges, physicians like myself would receive a phone call about a patient and have to drop everything and rush to the hospital to view a patient’s films or CD images to make a decision that could be a life or death situation. In 2011, our facility joined the Nuance PowerShare Network – the nation’s largest medical image exchange – just in time to save Baby Christian.

Baby Christian was delivered at Holmes Regional Medical Center, a referring provider about 70 miles away from Arnold Palmer Hospital. Not even 24 hours later, he began vomiting and had an abnormal abdomen X-ray. As the area’s only Level 1 pediatric trauma center, Holmes Regional urgently needed our expertise, but I happened to be taking a personal day, and wasn’t at the hospital.

Because PowerShare makes it so easy and convenient for physicians to view medical images at any time, I quickly logged on using my home computer to view Baby Christian’s X-ray and immediately asked Holmes Regional to conduct an upper gastrointestinal scan for a more accurate diagnosis.

While Baby Christian was having an upper GI scan, I hopped in the car with my family to enjoy our day off together. As soon as the scan was completed and uploaded to the cloud, the PowerShare Network sent an alert to my iPad. I was able to pull over and view the medical image in real-time and determine that he had Intestinal Malrotation, a condition that needed emergency surgery. Directly on my iPad, I was able to share the images with my colleagues at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, who prepped the operating room in anticipation of his arrival. Baby Christian was rushed via helicopter to Winnie Palmer Hospital where surgery was successful. Two years later, he’s a happy, healthy toddler.

Without this cloud-based network, Baby Christian would have been transferred via ambulance more than an hour to my hospital where I would have had to upload the X-ray from a CD before determining his need for emergency surgery.



This is just one of many stories that show the need for physicians to share and receive medical images from any device. Emergency care physicians and patients need immediate information and care and simply cannot wait hours when a life depends on it. Cloud-based image sharing is not only revolutionary, it’s life saving.

Hear Dr. Plumley share his experience about how diagnostic mobile medical image sharing helped deliver life-saving care to Baby Christian.


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Dr. Donald Plumley

About Dr. Donald Plumley

This was a contributed post by Dr. Donald Plumley, Chief Quality Officer at Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital. To see more content like this, visit the Healthcare section of our blog.