As I mentioned in last month’s post, zero-footprint viewing is one of the industry’s buzziest buzzwords. If you’ve recently attended any of the big radiology or imaging conferences, like SIIM or RSNA, you may have noticed the phrase strewn across vendor displays and collateral. But putting the hype aside, what’s the real value in zero-footprint? To sum up the value proposition in two words: universal viewing.
Most image management strategies lack universal viewing capabilities – which enable viewing of medical images and reports at anytime, from any location.
What does this mean for your organization? Do you need to go out and replace your traditional PACS viewer and start from scratch? Of course not. Think of it this way – the purpose of a universal viewer is not to replace specialty workstations; rather, the intent is to deliver a wide-range of viewing capabilities to a broad audience.
The first universal viewers to hit the market were based exclusively on thin-client technology. Soon after, a new wave of universal viewers, based on zero-footprint technology, started to take center stage. Standards, like HTML5, are taking zero-footprint architecture a step further by providing additional opportunities for rich functionality, such as streaming video, audio integration, 3D graphics and more.
The main advantage of a zero-footprint viewer is the flexibility for launching studies directly in the browser, regardless of the type of browser, operating system, or device. Unlike standard PACS viewing, which requires installations onto a PC/workstation, zero-footprint viewers don’t involve any installations.
The most obvious benefit of deploying this technology is to provide physicians with immediate access to imaging when and where it is needed. They no longer need to be tethered to a workstation in order to access diagnostic studies. As one of our blog readers pointed out, “After dealing with Java version issues, IE versions, doctors wanting to use a Mac, and countless other challenges I have found the zero-footprint viewer to be a best friend. I can even view PACS images from my phone.”
The convenience and efficiency of mobilizing data across departments plays a critical role in enhancing communication, realizing faster diagnoses, and reducing time-to-care delivery.