Diagnostic Reading #5: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

This week’s articles focus on: automated email messaging to engage patients in their own care; five healthcare trends to watch in 2016; why the IT transformation is creating a growing need for CIOs; adding an annual pledge for healthcare facilities that participate in the Image Wisely program; and the move to spend more healthcare IT dollars on analytics, patient engagement, customer relationship management and cybersecurity.

A healthcare startup made a wild pitch to Cara Waller, CEO of the Newport Orthopedic Institute in Newport Beach. The company said it could get patients more engaged by “automating” physician empathy and told Waller Diagnostic Reading, Patient Engagementits messaging technology would improve their satisfaction and help keep them out of the hospital. High satisfaction scores and low readmission rates mean higher reimbursements from Medicare, so Waller was intrigued. So far, she’s been surprised at patients’ enthusiasm for the personalized—but automated—daily emails they receive from their doctor.

The top 5 healthcare trends to watch in 2016 are: Patient adoption of health-related apps equips  patients to seek access to care anywhere at any time; the cloud will become a core method of enhancing interoperability; FDA mandates PACS compliance requirements; the Baby Boom generation will have a continued impact on healthcare and cybersecurity remains a key concern.

More than 80 percent of leading life sciences companies have created new digital and innovation leadership roles to capitalize on the IT transformation in healthcare, with nearly half hiring new chief information officers during the past three years, according to research from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. The rise of mobile devices, cloud storage, predictive analytics and other digital innovations offers new opportunities for advancing patient care as companies launch innovative products at a more rapid pace and in more therapy areas, according to IMS.

Healthcare facilities who participate in the Image Wisely program will now need to make an annual pledge to limit excessive imaging and curb unnecessary patient exposure to radiation.  Pledges made before Jan. 1, 2016, will expire at the end of this year, while facilities that pledged to all three levels of the previous version will not be required to re-pledge until 2017. All other facilities are required to take the new pledge in order to retain their status in the program.

Investment in IT is still growing at many hospitals, but healthcare organizations now are looking at technologies that can help them take advantage of the EHR infrastructure they’ve put in place in recent years. There’s a perceptible shift toward key technology areas, with the top drivers for budget growth being analytics, patient engagement, customer relationship management and cybersecurity, according to the results of a recent survey of about 200 hospital IT decision makers by IDC Health Insights.

Apps Watch in Healthcare

Incorporating patient-generated data to assist diagnosis.

Demonstrating the APP for Fosters

Apps Watch

From time to time, we report news and perspectives on the latest in healthcare app development, and the use and potential for new apps in healthcare, and especially radiology.

Incorporating patient-generated data to assist diagnosis.

Several key trends in healthcare are converging to change the way we collect and employ data to help clinicians collaborate for the benefit of patient outcomes. Patient portals today often give patients the ability not only to view their own medical records, but also to supplement them with personal observations and findings that can often aid the clinician in a diagnosis and in the evaluation of a course of treatment.

A recent Harvard Business Review article by John Halamka, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) describes how this newly possible collaboration between a patient and his doctors works, using his own personal experience. The collaboration resulted in the patient (Halamka) gathering a stream of data leading to a diagnosis at which the clinicians might not have arrived in the same timeframe.

Halamka used a blood pressure cuff that connects to an iPhone app (BIDMC@Home). He took blood pressure readings before and after potentially “anxiety-producing” events to feed into the EHR for evaluation. The EHR added other health factors into consideration and offered clinical guidelines to achieve a successful outcome.

According to the HBR article, Beth Israel Deaconess has been planning to incorporate patient data into its EHR for several years, following a two-year study by their its leaders “showing how patient-generated health data could tie in with pay-for-performance reimbursement.

And now that so many apps are available to help patients track and report on their health to clinicians, it makes sense for any enterprise planning to improve its enterprise collaboration to take this type of data storage and access into account as it moves into the future.

Halamka describes BIDMC’s goal as follows: “At BIDMC, we don’t overwhelm clinicians with big data, but instead reduce their burden by staying one step ahead of what they need to make wise clinical decisions.”

For an overview of some of the recent apps available to clinicians, see our earlier Apps Watch post.

Looking beyond incorporating patient generated data into the EMR, one may already start to wonder how does it all come together? Big Data in healthcare is another hot topic and we will be exploring our role at the upcoming Arab Health Big Data Conference. Stay tune for that blog.

How is your enterprise incorporating patient data into your clinical workflow? We’d be interested in hearing about your experience.

Blog_Kao_Cristine_BWCristine Kao is the global business development director for Carestream’s Healthcare Information Solutions business.


How is Carestream Supporting Efficient Utilization of Dose?

Imaging Products and Technologies That Can Help Reduce Dose

How is Carestream Supporting Efficient Utilization of Radiation Dose?

DRX-Revolution Mobile X-ray Unit

At Carestream we are doing our part to help minimize radiation dose by delivering high-performance image capture systems and specialized software that can help minimize dose while maintaining high image quality. Here are five of Carestream’s dose-related initiatives:

  • Deliver DR detectors with high detective quantum efficiency

Carestream’s DRX Plus 3543C, DRX-1C and DRX 2530C cesium iodide detectors deliver high detective quantum efficiency (DQE), which can produce a higher quality image (defined in terms of signal-to-noise ratio) than a device with lower DQE. Higher DQE can also deliver the same image quality at a lower exposure, which reduces patient dose. Cesium iodide detectors are particularly important for pediatric imaging applications since children’s sensitivity to dose is substantially higher than adults.

  • Offer systems that help optimize radiation dose efficiency

Carestream products offer sophisticated multi-frequency image processing algorithms as well as the flexibility to adjust image processing techniques through the modality’s graphical user interface. Carestream image processing algorithms balance contrast, sharpness and noise appearance as the exposure level is adjusted. Users can adjust image quality parameters to further refine contrast, sharpness and noise appearance to meet the specific expectations of radiologists at each site. Carestream offers pediatric image optimization software for its CR and DR imaging systems that provides recommended image processing and exposure techniques for each of seven pediatric age/weight categories as defined by the FDA.

  • Provide software that helps users monitor image quality and analyze repeat exams

Our specialized software allows a QC technician or physicist to obtain image acquisition data from Carestream systems across an institution’s network. The software compiles data for each captured image such as exam type, exposure index, repeat statistics and technologist ID. It analyzes the data and generates tables of results that can be inspected to quickly identify unusual exposure levels, indicate exam types with abnormally high repeat rates, or flag other image quality issues as they develop. This software allows staff members to take proactive steps to help improve image quality consistency and reduce the percentage of images that need to be repeated.

  • Support standards compliance and structured reporting

Carestream played a leadership role in developing and implementing the IEC Exposure Index, a standardized radiation exposure index for digital radiography. This standard equips users to more accurately measure and track exposure. The associated Deviation Index allows an immediate evaluation of the acquisition technique compared to the institutional target of exposure for the given exam. Carestream’s newest CR/DR software uses the IHE Radiation Dose Monitoring Profile, which collects dose information from Carestream CR and DR systems and sends a structured report to any vendor’s RIS or PACS that supports the IHE profile. Carestream has demonstrated its ability to collect and share dose information with other suppliers’ systems at IHE Connectathon events. Each modality must have a DAP (dose area product) meter that measures dose and must be able to report dose in order for this data to be sent to a RIS or PACS. The new DRX-Evolution Plus includes an optional DAP and Carestream is marketing DAP meters and a hardware interface that connects to a Carestream console so users of our CR systems and DRX-1 Systems (for room retrofits) can collect and report dose from X-ray equipment manufactured by other suppliers.

  • Enable RIS to track and display exposure or dose information

Carestream’s RIS can currently track and display exposure or dose information from each modality that is able to transmit this data. Physicists at each facility are responsible for creating a formula to calculate dose for each modality based on different variables including weight, body anatomy/density, etc. When it’s available, our newest RIS platform is designed to allow physicists to enter formulas for each modality and our RIS will calculate dose based on the initial exposure and the formula for each exam. Dose information for each exam will then be populated into the radiology report and stored in a PACS from Carestream or other suppliers. Carestream’s Vue PACS also can transmit dose information to a healthcare provider’s dose management system.

In addition to delivering imaging products and technologies that can help reduce dose, Carestream also can store dose information (sent by imaging modalities) in our RIS and PACS—and that information can be shared with a healthcare provider’s dose management system. Carestream does not offer a dose management system at this time.


Heidi McIntosh, Carestream Health


Heidi McIntosh, Manager, Worldwide Marketing, Global X-ray Solutions, and David H. Foos, Director of Research & Innovation Laboratories, Carestream Health


Guess the X-ray – February’s Image Challenge

It has been a new and busy year so we apologize for missing January’s “Guess the X-ray” Image Challenge; however we are back for February! December’s Image Challenge, a lighter and battery operated wall clock, were identified but it took a bit of time for someone to guess both images correctly. Let’s see if we can make things a little more difficult this month…

The X-ray image for February is below. The challenge will run until the end of the month or until the first person guesses correctly. To participate this month, leave your guess in the comments below or on our Facebook page. Good luck!


Sorry… Carestream employees and their agencies are prohibited from entering.

Diagnostic Reading #4: Five Must Read Articles from the Past Week

Our Diagnostic Reading Top Picks

This week’s articles describe the high priority radiologists Diagnostic Reading #5 - Radiology and Health IT Articlesplace integrating PACS with an EHR, expected growth for the global ultrasound market, patients’ desire for personalized treatment, Radiology Today’s top picks for areas within the imaging space that promise the greatest innovations and a study that indicates mentally demanding activities may play an important role in maintaining a healthy brain.

With such a wide variety of PACS and electronic health records (EHRs) in the marketplace, decision-makers at hospitals and private practices have a lot to consider when purchasing new equipment. If they want to keep their radiologists happy, they may want to make sure the PACS can be properly integrated with the EHR. According to a recent study published by the Journal of the American College of Radiology, an integrated EHR is a bigger priority to radiologists than having access to the most advanced clinical features.

The global ultrasound marke Continue reading

Cyber security, IoT and Cloud Dominate Future Predictions

IDC Shares its Latest HealthIT Predictions for 2016

Man checking his laptop with a stethoscope

A new year brings many changes—green grass turns to white snow, people announce their New Year’s resolutions, and in 2016, cyberattacks are expected to increase in intensity and volume. In fact, it’s likely that cyberattacks will compromise 1-in-3 healthcare records in the coming calendar year, according to research from IDC.

Change is inevitable, but it’s a huge advantage to be able to see what’s coming and prepare for it. International Data Corporation (IDC) released its latest healthcare IT predictions for 2016, including startling statistics about the growth of IT spending and increased emphasis on cyber security due to breaches. IDC identified its “Top 10” predictions for the year; the question now is what they mean to the average healthcare CIO.

These are our key takeaways from IDC’s 2016 predictions:

  • Attacks are on the rise. In fact, IDC research predicts that one out of three individuals will have his or her healthcare records compromised by cyberattacks in 2016. Coming off the heels of the 2015 Anthem Health security breach, this number isn’t a shock. The reality is that with more data than ever being stored and transferred in healthcare, the risk for breach is greater—a good motivator for CIOs to amp up cyber security this year.
  • Cloud is a top strategy. By 2018, cloud creation will be the top market entry strategy for tech providers and industrial companies. Leaders of IT and industry domains are uniting to tear down traditional barriers to cloud adoption, allowing healthcare providers to utilize the increased accessibility and collaboration offered by the cloud.
  • The IoT is here to stay. By 2018, 80 percent of customer/patient service interaction will make use of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data to improve quality, value, and timeliness. IDC predicts that IoT spending will top $1.3 trillion by 2019. Since the IoT includes everything from consumer wearables like the FitBit and Apple Watch to smart home devices, it makes sense that healthcare professionals would include data from these devices to improve patient interaction and care. The IoT also simplifies virtual care, which IDC predicts will become routine by 2018.
  • Data rules. By 2018, 30 percent of worldwide healthcare systems will employ real-time cognitive analysis to provide personalized care leveraging patients’ clinical data, directly supported by clinical outcomes and Real World Evidence (RWE) data. Essentially, patient data will be used in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment more than ever before—which means that additional technology to support that data is inherent.
  • You’re going to spend more. Through 2017, healthcare IT services buyers will consolidate their spending into the hands of 5-10 of the largest service providers for each sub-vertical at double industry growth rates. As the need for technology grows, so will spending. CIOs should plan for this change in 2016.

With so many trends and predictions expected in 2016, health systems need to ensure they’re prepared. Is your health system ready? Now, more than ever, is the time to ensure it is.


Robert Dostie headshot_BW Robert Dostie, Director, Worldwide Sales CRM Enablement and Marketing, Carestream Health

Feast Your Eyes on our Top YouTube Videos of 2015

Carestream’s Popular Videos on YouTube

Whether stuck in winter in the northern hemisphere or living in Melbourne and watching the Australian Open where it’s 90 degrees, YouTube makes it easy to soak up enormous amounts of information on anything that interests us. In 2015 we hosted a batch of videos that radiology and healthcare IT professionals found valuable.  So whether you are cold or hot–grab a beverage of choice and cruise through a few of these videos. Instant information at your fingertips…

We’re sharing our list of our most popular videos in 2015 that includes overviews of our new innovative products at RSNA, image archiving, image sharing and other HealthIT topics, plus demos and benefits for our image capture medical devices for ultrasound and digital radiography.

New Innovations shares at RSNA

Health IT

Image Capture

Diagnostic Reading #3 – Five Must Read Articles from the Past Week

Several top news sources recently published articles that contain helpful insights for radiology and healthcare IT professionals

This diagnostic reading articles describe how the Internet and mobile technologies have led to higher patient expectations, why radiologists need to maintain good relationships with other clinicians and patients to be effective, nine trends to watch in 2016, patient opinions on acceptable ways to share their health information and the latest tactics being employed for cancer detection and treatment.Carestream Diagnostic Radiology Articles

Eight-nine percent of healthcare providers say technology has changed patient expectations, according to a recent EMC report. Respondents to the survey, which polled 236 healthcare leaders from 18 countries, said more than half of their patients wanted faster access to services. 45 percent wanted 24/7 access and connectivity and 42 percent wanted access on more devices. Another 47 percent said they wanted “personalized” experiences.

While office colleagues are integral to a radiologist’s success, they can’t be the only other players to comprise the team. To be truly effective, radiologists must cultivate and maintain open relationships with other stakeholders – referring physicians, hospitals, technologists, and, most importantly, patients.

What does the year ahead hold for radiology? From a growing reliance on big data for improved efficiency to the emergence of 3D printing as a clinical tool, medical imaging will continue to experience the constant evolution that is a hallmark of the specialty.

Just over half of Americans feel it would be acceptable for doctors to use health information websites to manage patient records, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Another 20 percent of respondents said it would depend on the scenario. Just 26 percent said this type of data sharing was unacceptable. “It depends on exactly what records are shared,” one respondent said. “It would have to be a very secure site for me to trust it. Scheduling appointments online wouldn’t bother me though.”

President Nixon launched the first war on cancer in 1971. The past 40+ years have brought greater understanding of cancer’s genomics and mortality rates have dropped by 23% since 1991. Yet industry experts remain cautious about finding a cure.

Fluoroscopy and Digital Radiography in One Room

Introducing the CARESTREAM DRX-Excel Plus fluoroscopy systems

Fluoroscopy has been around almost as long as the X-ray itself. Shortly after Röentgen discovered X-rays, practitioners projected medical images onto a fluorescent screen and stood by to observe the results in real time.

Today, the results of a fluoroscopic exam are “coupled to an electronic device that amplifies and transforms the glowing light into a video signal suitable for presentation on an electronic display,” writes Eric Gingold, PhD in an Image Wisely1 article (Modern Fluoroscopy Imaging Systems).  Dr. Gingold dryly remarks that this results in a reduction in dose to the patient as well as a “substantial reduction in radiation dose to the fluoroscopist.”

Carestream DRX-Excel Plus System in useAn idea whose time has come.

But traditionally, despite the fact that many of the basic requirements for fluoroscopy equipment were similar to those of X-ray equipment, the fluoro system required its own room—putting a strain on resources in crowded hospital radiology departments. And unless the requirement for fluoroscopy was especially heavy, the fluoro room was not fully utilized—while X-ray rooms were fully booked.

Enter the CARESTREAM DRX-Excel Plus fluoroscopy systems

These versatile systems can record both fluoro and radiography sequences and interventional procedures.

In an organization where resources are constrained, it is now possible to use the “fluoro room” for digital X-rays as well as fluoroscopic studies. And that can mean increased utilization, better workflow, and increased productivity.

Is your organization planning a new fluoroscopy room? Perhaps you should explore the more versatile DRX-Excel Plus System that permits both fluoroscopy and digital radiography in the same room. To learn more, visit drxExcel.com

1 Image Wisely is the organization dedicated to lowering radiation dose from medical imaging supported by ACR, RSNA, ASRT, and AAPM.

Jane_Duffy-White_CarestreamHealthJane Duffy-White, Marketing Manager, Carestream Health


Diagnostic Reading #2: Five Must Read Articles from the Past Week

This week’s diagnostic reading articles describe the need to deploy Healthcare Vue for Radiology enterprise image viewers, growing adoption of telemedicine tools by healthcare providers, changes expected in data security, cloud and mobile technologies, why radiologists need to lead change and how patient-centric care can result in shorter perceived wait times and greater satisfaction.

Providers have more work to do to expand enterprise image viewing, which gives clinicians the ability to quickly view patient images without limitations on where they can view them, according to the results of a new HIMSS Analytics survey. The survey of 144 hospital, health system and ambulatory PACS/radiology leaders, follows a similar study conducted by HIMSS Analytics in late 2014 to gauge trends in provider adoption of enterprise image viewing. Less than half of respondents indicated that they use an enterprise image viewer to meet their diagnostic imaging needs.

Telemedicine tools like smartphones, two-way video, email, and wearable technology are becoming increasingly common in many healthcare settings. In 2014, HIMSS led a study that found that 46 percent of more than 400 hospitals and medical practices said they used at least one type of telemedicine. Additionally, the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM) found that 33 percent of U.S. healthcare practitioners offered healthcare services via telephone, video, or webcam visits, and another 29 percent planned to do so in the next few years.

Several industry analysts have forecast that 2016 will be the ‘year of action’ on many technology fronts, as several recent trends become commonplace strategies. Cloud computing, data security and mobile are tops among them. This article contains six predictions for what we can expect in 2016 on the mobile technology and cloud computing fronts.

Frank Lexa, MD, MBA, radiology residency director for Drexel University College of Medicine, calls upon radiologists to lead change “because if you let someone make changes who doesn’t understand what we do, it will be damaging to our industry and to your patients.” He advises radiologists to pick one project in one location, and demonstrate its value before spreading any alterations elsewhere.

Focusing on a patient’s satisfaction can lead to shorter perceived wait times and higher patient satisfaction, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. Anna Holbrook, MD, Emory University School of Medicine, and colleagues studied questionnaires completed by 147 MR outpatients who had received care from a radiology department in which “patient experience” was a stated strategic priority. The authors found patients often believed the wait time was almost half what it actually was and were satisfied with the experience.