Dr Bob Cecil 3 17 11

Host Team: Stephen Donaldson, Boban Josipovic, Matt Pistella


Biographical Sketch


Robert Cecil, PhD, has a dual appointment in the Imaging Institute and the Department of Cardiology in the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic, where he influences the future electronic imaging distribution strategy for the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

Dr. Cecil joined the CT development group at Picker International in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1984. Over the next several years, he was the primary architect of the image display and networking hardware and software designs for the Picker “Q” series CT scanners. He was the principal Picker representative in PACS and electronic imaging for ACR/NEMA, the FDA, and high technology export licensing through the Department of Commerce. In June of 1995, Dr. Cecil took a Staff position as the Network Director for Cleveland Clinic's Division of Radiology.

Dr. Cecil received his PhD in heavy ion relativistic nuclear physics from Kent State University in 1981. While at KSU, he held several computer systems consulting positions, including a four-year engagement by the Northeastern Ohio College of Medicine. Dr. Cecil participated in major scientific research efforts conducted throughout the United States, including at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, Indiana University Cyclotron Facility and Lawrence Livermore. In 1982, he held the position of Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Virginia during which he pursued experimental studies at The Max Planck Institute in Germany.

Dr. Cecil has seven patents and continues to author a growing list of academic articles for professional medical journals.

Cleveland Clinic website

Innovations & Patents

Dr. Cecil is the primary architect of the Health System Diagnostic Imaging Electronic Storage System. Initiated in 1999, the system has grown to acquire over 200 Tbyte of new imaging data each year. It serves facilities in Cleveland as well as Florida and Toronto, and wherever radiology or cardiology services are provided.
In 2007, Dr. Cecil became the primary architectural planner for a joint patient database project between radiology and the newly created Neurological Institute at Cleveland Clinic. This innovation focuses on direct data capture of patient-entered data, quality assessment and outcomes. This project is pursued jointly with ITD and provides direct realtime transfer of captured data to the EPIC electronic medical record.

Cleveland Clinic website



  • Important to know what you sign (read before you sign)
    • Intellectual property, knowledge
  • What you can give away and what you cannot
    • Usually ANYTHING someone tells you is theirs
  • You have a right to modify ANY agreement and initialize any change you made
  • Two signatures on document -> get you to sign first and they never sign -> not bound by agreement only you are
  • Data copies -> advices you what you SHOULD do with data -> presumes average person is trustworthy
    • You can copy medical records for OWN USE

Patient's Rights

  • Can modify ANY of their medical records
    • according to the law hospitals CANNOT refuse to give you your medical records
    • Medical institutions want decisions to be made by the patients even when they are unaware/unconscious about their own decisions

Accessibility of data

  • Is the biggest problem today in medicine
  • There are many different systems with all kinds of different data
    • Systems not talking to each other
  • Access to all information is CRITICAL
  • More data made in medicine than all of the world put together -> A LOT OF DATA!
    • Single CT scan produces approximately 10,000 files in 1 minutes
  • Management complexity of data is skyrocketing
  • Hardware cost is going down

Dr. Cecil's Job

  • on call 24/7
  • Figure out how to fix computer issues because it might safe a life
  • Does not worry about budget -> does the right thing first