PETALING JAYA: At least 46,000 images from a few million taken for patients who sought treatment at the University Malaya Medical Centre have been compromised due to a technical glitch that happened during a system upgrade.
UMMC director Prof Datuk Dr Ikram Shah Ismail said the problem happened when some images were not “copied properly” during the upgrade and could not be retrieved as the backup hard drive for the new imaging system was corrupted.
The affected images were among those taken from late 2011 until the middle of last year.
“We were in the process of copying 10 years’ worth of images but unfortunately some of the images were not converted properly and could not be retrieved as the backup hard drive was corrupted,” he said.
However, Dr Ikram Shah gave an assurance that the images – ranging from MRI to CT scans – were only about 0.2% of the total of “a few hundred million images” taken over the past decade, adding that the problem cropped up sometime after Christmas last year.
He said even though the images had been compromised, the reports for each case were still available and this would help doctors should they need the relevant information.
“These are old images and so far, there has been no request from the doctors for them,” he said.
UMMC, he added, had now established two backup systems to avoid the problem from happening again.
The entire project, he said cost a few million ringgit and was chosen because it was more advanced than the previous one.
“Each study (on a patient) can require taking 50 to 100 images just to find out what is wrong,” he added yesterday.