Formed as a joint venture between Harris Healthcare Solutions and Johns Hopkins Medicine, Peake Healthcare Innovations is the product of ingenuity and necessity. As Hopkins’ internal imaging informatics department grew substantially, the administration asked whether or not it was creating inefficiencies within the department. With Harris’ experience and reputation with several other notable medical imaging projects including the VA and DoD, the two joined forces in an effort to streamline the imaging informatics department and its processes. Over the course of this internal project, the team realized that many other hospitals could use these same services, and thus, Peake was born.

“Building a solution for Hopkins developed into a stepping stone to bring a transformative approach to image management for the broad healthcare provider market,” says John Danahy, vice president, corporate strategy and development, Peake Healthcare Innovations.

John Danahy, VP, Corporate Strategy and Development, Peake Healthcare Innovations

On a simplistic level, Peake’s primary offering is a cloud computing service. However, rather than mimic similar companies currently on the market, Peake aims to offer its customers a unique solution that can both streamline workflow as well as significantly reduce internal IT infrastructure. Rather than just offering image sharing services in the cloud, Peake stores the data for your facility as well, acting as a primary source of storage, a disaster recovery solution, or a business continuity solution.

“If you’re going to move data to the cloud to share it with other institutions or physicians, why not store it too,” Danahy says. “The concept of what Peake delivers combines a series of applications into a single, subscription service that allows hospitals to take advantage of the economies of scale that the cloud provides.”

With cloud computing, however, one of the key concerns is generally the retrieval speed of images. In an environment that can often be time sensitive, the ability to view and manipulate images without significant lag time is imperative. Aside from offering an on-site companion to the cloud-storage solution, Peake utilizes server-side rendering to provide high performance access to images regardless of location or device.

“We do use both virtual and server-side rendering technologies on our appliances and from the datacenters,” Danahy says. “We’re able to render any study from the cloud or from our local edge appliance quickly and easily using this technology. We can actually now provide access to a study that is a 4,000 or 5,000 slice CT rendered from the cloud in less than three seconds. And that’s over a fairly modest Internet connection. We’re finding that the server render technology and the virtual machines that we can deploy far exceed the computing power of any local desktop. If a diagnostic workstation can run from a laptop, with diagnostic monitors plugged into a monitor port, you’re talking about fairly significant cost savings just on desktops alone.”

And saving clients money is one of the key tenants of Peake. With solutions built on existing open source software, the Peake business model aims to provide a significant cost savings over the lifespan of in-house IT infrastructure.

“We’ve built our business model to provide better, or at least comparable, solutions as a service for 15% to 20% less in terms of total cost of ownership than a customer could do with their own resources,” Danahy says. “We’re finding that image procedure volumes are growing at a much slower rate than they used to historically—now just at about a 2% to 4% annual growth. What’s really notable, however, is that the data volumes themselves are growing on average of 15% and 20%. The conclusions are startling-with procedure volumes growing very slowly and reimbursements going backwards, the amount of data being created and requiring storage is skyrocketing. Cost of operations is going up over time, running contrary to the efficiency model our market is desperately trying to achieve. Peake wants to make an impact on this challenge.”

With increasing study sizes and the necessity to store increasing amounts of data, Peake is confident that its solution will only become more and more cost effective. The company’s biggest hurdle is simply educating the market about its unique solution and proving all of the benefits it can bring to a facility.