How to turn medical imaging data into an invaluable asset was the topic of discussion at Think RADical, a National Health IT Week event that took place in New York City, focused on driving innovation in medical imaging. Panels featured radiologists, researchers, venture capitalists, and informatics experts. The importance of imaging data, as seen through different lenses, led to a fiery discussion among panelists, moderators, and the audience. Twitter was overflowing with commentary throughout the sessions, and we’ll highlight some of the top tweets and comments you won’t want to miss.
The day kicked off with Morris Panner, CEO of Ambra Health, sharing some of the hard truths of the healthcare industry, like that medical errors now kill an estimated 250,000 Americans per year. Panner made clear that the industry is failing on cost, quality, and access, and we must “thinkRADical”across verticals to solve these dilemmas. Panner said, “today is about blasting through the clutter.”
Following Morris Panner, Lea Halim, Senior Consultant, The Advisory Board Company, shared the current growth outlook for imaging.
There are several key opportunities for growth to take place including newly accepted screenings like lung cancer and CT colonography. More than ever, patients are also advocating for improvements in healthcare and demanding convenient locations, timely care, and transparent prices. With few organizations offering transparent pricing, it’s a prime opportunity for a facility to differentiate themselves.
Following Lea Halim, Mini Peiris, CMO of Ambra Health, led a Radiology Perspectives panel with Dr. Geraldine McGinty, Asst. Chief Contracting Officer, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Dr. Eliot Siegel, Professor and Vice Chair Research Informatics, University of Maryland School of Medicine. The panel discussed some hot-button questions, including whether AI would one day take over radiology. Dr. Siegel answered with a resounding no, rather, that AI would become a radiologist’s best friend and a strong resource for mining large data sets for individual patient care and insights. While Dr. McGinty agreed that AI will be a fundamental resource in the future, she also advocated for a more diverse physician workforce. She noted that because the US population is diverse, we can’t help these populations if we don’t understand them, and diversity is a matter of life or death.
Dr. McGinty also discussed that as a mammographer, having access to prior exams is the most important thing in her field. Without previous imaging work, it is difficult to tell if abnormalities are part of a woman’s natural anatomy, or if they are stemming from another cause. The cloud has been a key technological innovation for the storage of large imaging sets and easy access to patient priors through automated matching.
The discussion then jumped to informatics with Ed Marshall, CPO of Ambra Health, and Dr. David Mendelson, Director of Radiology Information Systems, Mount Sinai. In addition, he currently serves on the Radiological Society of North America’s (RSNA) Radiology Informatics Committee (RIC), where he is the Chairman of the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) subcommittee, as well as the American College of Radiology IT Informatics Committee. He is also the principal investigator for the NIBIB/RSNA Image Sharing Contract. In these positions, he focuses on interoperability and has participated in shaping national and international standards.
An interoperability town hall took place with audience members asking questions like, Have patients been demanding more access to their data, or are they still relatively uninformed? and How does the Affordable Care Act affect image sharing and interoperability, or is it relatively low impact? The answer to these questions was clear, the Affordable Care Act and patients alike demand that the correct imaging exam be done the first time, and therefore, imaging standards and interoperability across facilities is crucial.
Finally, Morris Panner returned to the stage with Dr. Stephen Bloch, General Partner, Canaan Partners, and Dr. David Tsay Ph.D., Director Innovation Center, Cardiac Electrophysiologist, New York Presbyterian Hospital. The speakers discussed prioritizing and funding innovation in healthcare IT along. In addition, they touched on the resistance to change in the healthcare field and how steps can be taken to move from a “great idea” to commercialization. With patients demanding easy access to their own medical data, it is inevitable that healthcare enterprises will require both innovation and funding to turn patient requests into tangible deliverables.