Managing the Flow in Radiology

Embracing 3D
Anakam Leads the Way for VA with Portable, Secure Health Information

Embracing 3D

Note from the Editor: The original article we ran on this subject in our August issue contained some errors. We apologize to our readers and suggest you read the following corrected version.

For Advanced Radiology Consultants (ARC), an imaging organization in Connecticut with eight imaging centers performing over 150,000 procedures per year, the best care comes from continually enhancing the tools for the physicians and the experience of patients. As the industry moves toward 3D imaging, and the need for highly mobile work expands, ARC has recognized the need for new technological capabilities.

The Visage CS solution is an enterprise-wide 3D thin client technology.

ARC has enlisted Visage Imaging for its Visage CS solution, a sophisticated enterprise-wide 3D thin client technology. Retaining their existing infrastructure, which has been highly efficient and useful for the organization, ARC is relying on Visage for some powerful new capabilities that will improve radiologists’ and patients’ experiences.

“We selected Visage Imaging and its Visage CS because the solution platform is terrific,” said Duleep Wikramanayake, chief information officer at ARC. “It fits perfectly with our infrastructure, and it complements our philosophy to our image distribution environment, to read images from anywhere. Our radiologists can work on advanced visualization from any work station, PC, or location and give superior diagnoses with enterprise visualization using advanced applications with more efficiency, and ultimately provide better care.”

Visage CS was the ideal solution for ARC due to their size, with their growing roster of radiologists, and their need to continually improve processes and efficiencies. Visage CS will be used for primary interpretation, image distribution, and archiving across an entire health care enterprise. Visage CS is designed in a modular fashion, and provides a vast range of clinical tools and applications in a single system, with functionality being configurable depending on different user roles.

ARC has also found that Visage Imaging is highly amenable to working with them to create tools and functions that can be “personalized” for their workflow and internal requirements. The group conducted a pilot study with the Visage CS over a 4-week period, allowing their physicians to validate the technology with real data. From this point, ARC provided input on how best to implement the system and address additional needs

“Without batting an eyelid, Visage said they would support our system configurations to meet our internal requirements,” said Wikramanayake. “The company wanted to accommodate our needs, but also to enhance our growing needs. You don’t see that level of service and commitment to quality from other companies.”

Visage Imaging will continue to provide ARC with powerful new resources, but also serve as a transition to the future.

“While most reimbursement from insurance carriers is still based today on 2D imaging, 3D will someday become the norm,” said Wikramanayake. “By integrating Visage CS, our radiologists will be very proficient with the technology to improve patient care, but also ready when this reimbursement expansion occurs. This fits with our commitment to clinical and service excellence.”

—Amy Lillard

Anakam Leads the Way for VA with Portable, Secure Health Information

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) signed into law in 1996 created strict guidelines for keeping personal health records private. Securing those records has been another matter, especially for the Veterans Administration (VA), which requires not only privacy by law, but also portability and convenience for patients and authorized clinicians. Of course, low cost is essential as well.

The solution for the Veterans Administration is a product called Anakam TFA? (Two-Factor Authentication) from Anakam, San Diego. Anakam’s solution is a two-step enterprise authentication tool for remote access to the VA system’s health care portal—without smartcards, software downloads, tokens, or key fobs. All you need is a computer and a cell phone or other personal communication device.

William “Bill” Braithwaite, MD, PhD, chief medical officer of Anakam, explained, “What Anakam did was come up with a method for uniquely identifying people who are remotely accessing health care information. It’s a way that’s flexible enough to deal with the workflow of clinicians, while being strong enough and cheap enough to roll out to the millions of patients, or veterans in this case, involved.”

Anakam assures the person’s identity with a distinctive but inexpensive process. First, an account is created to authenticate the user, whether a veteran or clinician. In creating the account, the system quizzes the user on a broad range of specific personal questions that only the individual would know.

Once the user is identified and authenticated, the individual inputs a unique contact telephone number—typically, a cell phone, but it could be a home phone, pager, e-mail, or any personal communication device. Finally, the user creates a simple user name and password.

With the initial identity form completed, the user can now access their personal medical records from any computer—provided they are with their registered cell phone or communication device.

That is because after logging in with the user name and password, a unique code is instantly sent to the registered device. This method not only ensures that the user knows the user ID and password, but is also near the registered personal communication device. After receiving the code, the patient has several minutes to input the code into the computer in order to obtain complete access to the medical information.

If anyone else correctly logs into the account but does not correctly input the access code, a message is sent to the registered device, alerting the user that someone has tried to access the account. In addition, the message provides an 800 number to call and stop any fraud.

It’s unclear whether those online records will include radiology images and reports, but it is certainly possible, according to Braithwaite. He added, “One of the things that’s been [preventing] the VA from communicating that depth of health information to their veterans is the difficulty when a veteran or veteran’s wife or somebody logs in and wants to interact with the system about that veteran. That information is highly protected by Federal law, which says that remote access has to be done only with true second factor authentication to make sure that you know who that person is and that they have permission to access that information.”

The VA and the military have been a driving force behind the adoption of portable health records. They were among the first to adopt a PACS systems in the 1990s, and now they are leading the way to more portable and secure health records accessed by patients from any computer.

In a press release, Anakam CEO Allan Camaisa said, “The partnership with the VA is paramount to Anakam because our focus is in the public sector and health care verticals. As a veteran-owned business, we take great pride in providing the VA with improved ways to access information.” 

The Anakam press release also indicated that the system will be developed for applications that include My HealtheVet health portal, the eBenefits portal, electronic claims processing, VA clinical applications, loan guarantee applications, and remote system access/teleworker programs. For more information, visit

—Tor Valenza