Walking the show floor at RSNA is a mind-boggling experience. You’ll find MRI machines, live ultrasounds, software vendors, the latest in mammography technology, lectures on healthcare trends, massage chairs on display alongside surgical steel, and most importantly, free candy and pens. Following the show, we’re often left with sore feet, a pile of notes, and overworked livers from all the post-show socializing.
But, after sifting through our notes, and taking the time to breathe, a few key themes and big-picture takeaways from the show clearly emerged:
Across the industry, cloud solutions in enterprise imaging are leading to improvements in patient care through technological advancements. In fact, we noticed less hardware vendors and more software vendors than ever at this year’s show. In addition, large established hardware vendors – GE being a prime example – were emphasizing the move to cloud-based software solutions.
Seamless access to current and prior patient imaging (both DICOM and non-DICOM) across facilities and within EHR/EMR systems is critical to the success of value-based care programs, delivering the best patient experience possible, and interoperability initiatives across expanding care networks.
This focus on accessible patient data and improvements in patient care are driven by technological innovations across radiology. Right before the show we announced two new customers putting these practices into action – St. Luke’s University Health Network and Boston Children’s Hospital. St. Luke’s looked towards technology as a method of empowering patients to take control of their own healthcare and to actively provide higher quality care as healthcare costs rise.
An additional customer announcement we were thrilled to make leading up to RSNA was San Diego Health Connect. The partnership with San Diego Health Connect image-enables their health information exchange (HIE) network and offers providers a streamlined way in which to exchange and view medical images. Image enabling HIE networks is part of the greater move towards interoperability across the healthcare network.
Ambra is also proud to be one of the first seven vendors to complete the RSNA Image Share Validation Program which is in collaboration with the Sequoia Project and dedicated to providing patients with easy access to imaging. Mariann Yeager, CEO of The Sequoia Project says, “vendors who achieve the RSNA Image Validation seal are empowering their physicians to more readily exchange medical images with other providers and their patients across multiple technology platforms to enhance quality of care, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.”
A key element of interoperability is the inclusion of all imaging data; both DICOM and non-DICOM imaging. As healthcare initiatives like Cancer Moonshot continue to receive funding, imaging data will be key players in creating a nation-wide clinical trial network based on genetic profiling. Boston Children’s Hospital, an Ambra Health customer, has adopted Ambra to image-enable their cardiology clinical trial program. With Ambra, non-DICOM imaging can easily be wrapped with a DICOM header for quick storage and access.
And what about the mining of the large imaging data sets established by Moonshot? AI was on the table as a solution for improving patient care. Machine learning, a set of algorithms that can learn complex patterns, can make predictions from data. This type of learning has shown a lot of promise in areas important to radiology, such as image recognition.
Combined with the push for interoperability and AI, a notable movement has also emerged towards incorporating more diverse views to better serve wider populations. Aunt Minnie posted an interview from the show floor addressing the question of why are there less women than men in radiology. Dr. Holly Jumper of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences was the featured guest, and noted that only 3% of all female graduating medical students pursue careers in radiology. In a recent survey conducted by her team, they also found that mentorship was a key influencing factor for women choosing their medical speciality. A similar conversation had occurred between Ambra CMO, Mini Peiris, and Dr. Geraldine McGinty, a practicing radiologist and thought leader in the imaging and informatics space. Together, they launched RADxx at RSNA, an initiative focused on fostering networking and mentorship opportunities for women in digital health and informatics. RADxx events will continue to develop over the next few months, join the LinkedIn group to stay tuned!