Imaging informatics and healthcare IT innovations promise to take RSNA 2014 by storm.
By Aine Cryts
RSNA kicks off its year-long 100th anniversary at RSNA ’14 in Chicago, from November 30 to December 5. A century ago, one of the biggest innovations in medicine was that of John Joly, an Irish engineer who developed the first effective method of treating cancer in what came to be called the “Dublin method.” This involved injecting radioactive radon gas into cancerous tumors to kill them.
At RSNA ’14, radiologists, IT administrators, and researchers will pursue solutions that help them prove value rather than simply increase volume, says William Boonn, MD, radiologist and president of Montage Healthcare Solutions (Philadephia).
“Over the past few years, there has been a big shift in the focus of new products at RSNA. In the past, there was greater attention paid to the biggest and fastest new modality or device,” said Boonn. “I would place the highest priority on products that help practices improve quality and safety, increase efficiency, and improve communication with patients and referring physicians.”
According to Cristine Kao, global HIS marketing director at Carestream Health (Rochester, NY), “Real-time data analytics tools can enable administrators to produce management reports that impact reimbursement and compliance. Access to images and patient data on mobile devices is also a key ingredient in the delivery of patient care.”
Highlighted below are new imaging informatics and healthcare IT solutions as well as new enhancements that will be showcased at RSNA ’14.
Synapse 3D from Fujifilm Medical Systems (Stamford, Conn) offers more than 30 clinical functions for radiologists and cardiologists to choose from, with many functions using the company’s Image Intelligence capability. Fully integrated with Synapse PACS and Synapse Cardiovascular, Synapse3D creates a centralized enterprise-shared 3D solution. (Hall A: booth 2511)
Intelerad Analytics helps optimize performance across the practice by providing comprehensive, real-time metrics about the practice’s operations, according to the maker, Intelerad Medical Systems (Montreal). Using data sourced directly from PACS, this solution provides business managers, chief radiologists, and operational support staff with instant access to relevant information and eliminates the need to compile and cross-analyze big data. (Hall A: booth 2165)
Montage’s automated follow-up recommendation detection and tracking feature is designed to address major quality, safety, and financial outcomes associated with follow-up. According to the company, this feature will enable improved patient safety and care delivery while reducing exposure to malpractice risk and maintaining practice revenue.
The custom quality control dashboard from Montage allows organizations to move forward on quality improvement measures and create their own quality metrics by leveraging natural language processing tools. Going forward, radiologists will be able to assess their own compliance with PQRS critical results reporting policy. (Hall A: booth 1508)
VolparaAnalytics helps with quality assurance by monitoring critical elements of the breast imaging process and generating key metrics to help breast imaging centers monitor the performance of technologists, readers, and mammography and tomosynthesis machines, says a company spokesperson. In addition, this Volpara Solutions (Rochester, NY) product provides unique information such as average pressure applied by each technologist and breast density profiles by mammography system, which helps address potential issues early. (Hall A: booth 1752)
CT Software Solutions
SafeCT Enterprise from Medic Vision (Dallas) is a single centralized system that uses a cluster of SafeCT servers, connected via proprietary grid computing technology, to deliver continuous, real-time iterative image reconstruction for low dose protocols of all CT exams on any CT scanner throughout the health system. (Hall A: booth 4335)
Data Backup & Disaster Recovery
Informity from Konica Minolta (Ramsey, NJ) is a backup and disaster recovery solution for the company’s ImagePilot Sigma and ImagePilot Aero systems. It protects patient data, ensures data recovery in the event of a disaster or other system failure, and helps facilities fulfill HIPAA’s security compliance as required by federal law. (Hall A: booth 1918)
Decision Support & Density Software
MedCurrent (Toronto) will debut MedCurrent Advisor, a web-based decision support subscription service that provides easy, wireless access on an iPad or other tablet for clinicians as they move throughout the hospital. This solution can be part of an integrated EMR system for patient-specific recommendations, or as a stand-alone service to provide recommendations based on symptoms or conditions.
In addition, MedCurrent will demonstrate the recent release of its OrderRight Imaging Decision Support system at RSNA ‘14. With its EMR integration, this solution is designed to make ordering physicians’ workflow simpler. (Hall A: booth 2104)
Volpara will showcase VolparaDensity, which can be used by radiologists to objectively assess density from both digital mammography and tomosynthesis images to help doctors evaluate which women would benefit from additional screening. Highly correlated to 3D breast MR assessments, VolparaDensity—cleared by the FDA, HealthCanada, the TGA, and CE-marked—automatically generates an objective measurement of volumetric breast density correlated to the ACR breast density categories. (Hall A: booth 1752)
Carestream Health will launch new capabilities for its Vue PACS platform, which includes its 64-bit architecture that provides enhanced processing power. This enables radiologists to manage large imaging data sets and use complex analysis and automatic registration features to read 3D imaging studies. A new voice recognition tool enables radiologists to insert hyperlinks into the final report that can contain key images and quantitative comparisons, such as vessel analysis and measurements, to help clinicians with treatment planning.
Carestream will also showcase its Vue RIS, one of the first to achieve certification for Stage 1 and Stage 2 Meaningful Use capabilities. This certification allows Vue RIS to exchange patient medical records and clinical documents with other certified EHR providers. These Stage 2 capabilities include: family health history, health information portability and sharing, online patient access to information and communication, as well as changes to comply with the way information is tracked so it can be more effectively shared to improve overall patient outcomes. Vue RIS was also one of the first RIS platforms to be certified as both a complete EHR for eligible providers and an EHR module for hospitals, according to the company. (Hall A: booth 4735)
With Synapse PACS, Fujifilm provides Synapse Communications for tracking and reporting. Synapse Communications will feature peer review, critical results, emergency department findings, and Fujifilm’s new Pulse feature, which allows users to track all important study activities. The company says that the development of Synapse PACS remains focused on optimized productivity for radiologists and performance in any imaging environment.
The next generation of Synapse RIS from Fujifilm will offer a host of features designed to meet the needs of outpatient facilities, radiology groups, and hospitals. The system also has received EHR certification, enabling it to be part of the Meaningful Use initiative. New this year are native features that support The Joint Commission’s newly revised and additional diagnostic imaging standards for dose management, a new patient portal, and the new Synapse Analytics. (Hall A: booth 2511)
Viztek (Garner, NC) will showcase its new Exa PACS at RSNA ‘14. Its fully web-based PACS platform is supported on any device, which enables immediate access to full PACS functionality for radiologists. According to the company, radiologists will have the ability to read any study on a single workstation, which creates a streamlined workflow. The new Exa PACS also integrates with Viztek’s Exa EHR to store and share data required for Meaningful Use and for access to a patient’s complete medical history. (Hall B: booth 7322)
Updates to Ikonopedia’s MQSA Management System include report generation tools based on indexing breast findings that are focused on what they look like rather than what they are called. The company says this solution is designed to help streamline processes, improve reporting efficiency, and optimize facility operations. The expanded suite of report generation software tools from Ikonopedia (Dallas) includes Screening MRI, Diagnostic MRI, Diagnostic Ultrasound and Biopsy, in addition to Screening and Diagnostic Mammography.
Nuance’s PowerScribe 360 reporting and communication solution delivers patient images and diagnostic reports to physicians anywhere, at any time, by leveraging the company’s PowerShare cloud-based network, says a spokesperson from Nuance (Burlington, Mass). (Hall A: booth 2529)
Carestream Health will showcase enhancements to the digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) module for its Vue Mammo workstations and Vue PACS, including a DBT image map, improved workflow settings, and the display of DICOM-compliant 2D synthetic views calculated from the 3D dataset. The company also plans to show a work-in-progress feature that allows the user to adjust the slab thickness of a tomosynthesis series, a capability that can help visualize calcifications and decrease reading time. (Hall A, Booth 4735)
Intelerad’s Tomosynthesis Module eliminates the need for dedicated workstations by providing radiologists with the diagnostic capabilities needed to read 2D and 3D mammography studies directly within InteleViewer, according to the company. In addition to quickly retrieving tomosynthesis images from multiple PACS in their proper orientation, the module features a number of integrated stacking and comparison tools, provides automated layout protocols, and allows images to be stored locally on their workstation. (Hall A: booth 2165)
VNAs, Image Sharing, & Storage
Agfa Healthcare offers a new mobile and web capture technology that extends its interoperable enterprise imaging platform to mobile capture devices, including iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices. Its easy-to-use mobile interface and HTML5 design enable physicians, caregivers, and patients to access and capture medical images at any time, from any location—while securely publishing clinical indexed data to the EHR, according to Agfa (Greensville, SC).
According to the company, its Transfer solution enables the secure, reliable transfer of patient studies between hospitals. It works with the hospital’s existing PACS to protect IT investments, and establishes a health information network between disparate systems to exchange and share all types of DICOM medical imaging data. ICIS Transfer can help to improve community healthcare by enhancing communication between doctors and facilities.
Designed for high availability and scalability, IMPAX Agility from Afga can provide business continuity and disaster recovery options. The solution’s whiteboard scheduling extends the amount of workflow that can be covered by a single solution. It also offers mobile share, an image capture tool, and remote signoff. (Hall A: booth 4708)
At RSNA ‘14, Carestream will introduce its new Clinical Data Collaboration, which helps equip those responsible for managing, providing, receiving, and reimbursing care with the ability to share and manage clinical data in ways that can help reduce costs and improve service delivery. (Hall A: booth 4735)
The Synapse VNA solution enables the management and distribution of DICOM and non-DICOM information from any departmental system. Fujifilm continues to develop new connectors to imaging areas to capture content such as photos and surgery video directly or through API integrations with EHR vendors or directly through new Synapse VNA mobile capture applications. (Hall A: booth 2511)
The Hitachi Clinical Repository offers hospitals a single data management solution with protection, search, and retrieval for all of their healthcare data content, according to the company. This solution from Hitachi Healthcare Group (Twinsburg, Ohio) forms the basis for an enablement strategy that can meet the needs of today’s digital imaging challenges or tomorrow’s population health goals. (Hall A: booths 4759 and 4766)
New to the IDS – AbbaDox (Ft Lauderdale, Fla) referring physician portal will provide access to patient prior exams for comparison with current imaging information. The zero-footprint image viewer enables referrers to view image files on-the-fly on any desktop computer, with no software download required, says a company spokesperson. In addition, users can access the portal using an iPad or any Android mobile device. (Hall B: booth 6341)
Merge Healthcare (Chicago) will introduce electronic referral and online order management for iConnect Network at RNSA ’14. The expanded service offering adds to Merge’s advanced interoperability network for the exchange of clinical data, which integrates with existing EHRs and health information exchanges. This capability allows healthcare organizations to further streamline workflow, reduce costs, increase referrals, and meet Meaningful Use requirements. (Hall A: booths 1329 and 1329X)
At RSNA ’14, TeraMedica (Milwaukee) announces the launch of Evercore 6.0 VNA with a new user control center and tighter integration with PACS and other software systems. The company says Evercore 6.0 features an innovative and improved user interface to locate system data and also enhances user control by customizing the delivery of relevant information. (Hall B: booth 7530)
Get Set to See State-of-the-Art Technology
Analytics platforms, decision support systems, and workflow and image sharing tools will be on the “wish lists” of attendees walking the RSNA ‘14 exhibit halls.
“A core principle for improving quality and performance is the ability to measure and monitor,” said Boonn of Montage. “If you can’t measure, you can’t improve. With the transition from volume to value within radiology and in particular, alongside the ACR’s Imaging 3.0 initiative, there will be increased focus on the ability to measure quality and outcomes.”
At the same time that RSNA kicks off its 100th anniversary, everyone in the radiology industry is focused on the future, says Kao of Carestream, who asks, “How is the radiology industry going to define itself in the coming decades?”
“We now have new technologies to capture patient information, and we can expect the coming decades to focus on streamlining storage and access to that information,” said Kao.
Aine Cryts is a contributing writer for Axis Imaging News.