Rebooting Radiology at SIIM 2013 June 6-9: Five Things to Look for in Dallas

Eliot Siegel

Eliot Siegel, M.D., Professor and Vice Chair, Image Information Systems, University of Maryland. He is also a member of Carestream’s Advisory Group, a collective of medical professionals that advises the company on healthcare IT trends.

Diagnostic Radiology is anticipating major and fundamental changes in the next few years the likes of which our specialty hasn’t experienced in a very long time, which has been an anxiety provoking prospect.  This was acknowledged and highlighted at the recent American College of Radiology (ACR) Annual Meeting in D.C. where the concept of “Imaging 3.0” was introduced.  The ACR describes this “initiative” as including a “set of technology tools that equip 21st-century radiologists to ensure their key role in evolving health care delivery and payment models—and quality patient care.”

“Imaging 3.0” will require an agile and proactive response and plan to address the major shift from a fee for service payment model to one in which radiologists are on salary, where appropriateness becomes a matter of economic viability rather than just the right thing to do, and where quality will become less a subjective and more of a quantitative metric and will be associated with pay tied to performance.

As a SIIM board member, I’m excited about this year’s program, which addresses many of the issues and “technology tools” that will be required by “21st-century radiologists” and their colleagues.  This year’s themes, in a very timely way, focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, reinvention of the radiologist, defining and re-engineering workflow, integration with the electronic medical record and enterprise IT, legislative changes impacting radiology, and “Personalized Medicine”.

Specific sessions that I am particularly enthusiastic and excited about include:

  1. The opening session, Translating Innovations to Clinical Practice by a good friend and colleague, Dr. Bradley Erickson, M.D., Ph.D. who is a neuroradiologist at the Mayo Clinic.  He is that extraordinarily rare Medical Doctor and laboratory scientist who has a deep understanding of the full spectrum from the lab “bench” to the patient bedside and has a great sense of humor and perspective about the special challenges in doing this translational research in imaging informatics.
  2. Immediately after the opening session, Brad teams up with one of the founders of Stentor, Dr. Paul Chang now at the University of Chicago and Chris Meenan who has an earlier phase but very promising start-up in Analytical Informatics.  They will share their experiences with translating innovation into a viable business product.  The title of the session is “Got Innovation?  Where to go now…
  3. Sadly, I won’t be able to attend the “Got Innovation?” session personally because I will be presenting at a “Hot Topic” session on Personalized Medicine along with Drs. George Shih and Khan Siddiqui.  Personalized medicine is a particularly hot topic which heavily leverages our newfound ability to sequence the human genome as well as the use of “big data” to tailor diagnosis and treatment to an individual patient.  In this era of patients dishing out $99 to companies such as 23andme to get the lowdown on their genes, I believe that radiology will play a major complementary role, and in turn this will have a substantial impact on utilization, and the ways in which we order, analyze, and report our studies.  George Shih will present apps that he has created which provide personalized patient preparation and individualized protocoling of studies and Khan Siddiqui will discuss his experiences at Microsoft and as CEO of Higi in personalized optimization of wellness for consumer.
  4. Two other hot topic sessions Decision Support:  Improving Quality, Efficiency, and Safety through Innovative Use of IT and Quantitative Imaging: a Revolution in Evolution are highly relevant to the Imaging 3.0 initiative and will offer creative ideas including how SIIM might be able to help to play a significant role in the major sea change that radiology will undergo.
  5. The closing session of the meeting has always been a popular, thought-provoking one and this year’s, titled Quality, Quantity, or Both:  Can you Really Have it All? promises to be no exception. Drs. Andriole, Geis, Weiss, and Wendt lead what will be a lively discussion about whether we really do need to compromise on quality in our increasingly high volume practices.  The aviation industry has achieved an enviable record of safety despite dramatic increases in the number of passengers and we in medical imaging have many lessons to learn from their experience.

I’m really looking forward to SIIM this year and hopefully, hearing your thoughts  and ideas about how radiology might prepare for its ongoing metamorphosis

Carestream goes to extremes…

Helen Titus

Helen Titus, Marketing Director, X-ray Solutions, Carestream

Over the Polar Ice.

Right now, Carestream is on a six-month trek across the frigid Antarctic continent. Well, none of our people are actually on the trip – but one of our flagship products is.

On March 21st, a small team of explorers set off on “The Coldest Journey.” They will attempt to conquer the last major challenge of polar exploration: to cross the Antarctic continent in winter. They’ll travel for six months, across 2,480 miles, at temperatures that can fall to –129F. During this perilous expedition, the team needs the ability to provide advanced medical care if needed – including diagnostic X-ray capabilities. The expedition’s doctor, Rob Lambert, knew that any X-ray system going on this journey would need to be exceptionally rugged, small, light and easy to operate. He chose the CARESTREAM DRX Transportable / Field Portable X-ray System.

The DRX-Transportable is a durable, all-in-one digital solution. It includes the DRX wireless detector, all electronics, a wireless access point and a tablet PC – all securely packed in a tough, protective case. Designed for easy portability, this is a system the expedition can depend on. Check out The Coldest Journey’s website.

Under the Desert Sun

The DRX-Transportable is even built to be rugged enough for military applications. This video* (also shown below) demonstrates how quickly the portable system can be deployed to evaluate serious battle injuries sustained by soldiers in desert combat – and in virtually any other environment as well.

The DRX-Transportable’s mobility and and wireless performance also make it ideal for disaster relief, EMT use, and travel to nursing homes and in-home care.

*Video is a bronze winner of the 34th Annual Telly Awards

Proper Implementation is Key to Health IT Savings

Cristine Kao

Cristine Kao, Global Marketing Manager, Healthcare IT, Carestream

Some troubling results were published in the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions 2013 Survey of U.S. Physicians. In it, 70% of doctors said that they think use of health IT tools ultimately will cost more, not less, and that the promise of reduced costs due to increased use is inflated. Upfront cost was the most popular roadblock standing in the way of those who participated in the study and did not currently have an electronic health record system. That concern makes perfect sense, but it takes a realization and recognition of long-term savings and workflow benefits to truly understand why these technologies are necessities in the healthcare environment.

Successful implementation of these technologies is dependent on both the vendor and the health organization and its professionals. It takes a true partnership to design a solution that meets both the technological and financial needs of the organizations. As an example, I know that we at Carestream have seen cost savings when working with Houston Medical Imaging (HMI) on installing the MyVue patient portal. A close partnership with HMI allowed for a seamless migration to the technology, resulting in an intuitive user experience and estimated cost saving of up to $15,000 per year using MyVue after its initial installation.

These savings are of course going to differ from organization to organization. The key components that must be remembered when implementing healthcare IT to involve the following:

Think long-term benefits over short-term costs. There is always going to upfront costs associated with projects involving installations, be it hardware or software. Working with your vendor to perform the proper calculations before the project will provide an idea of what initial costs will be and how the money will be earned back over the months and years after installation.

Look into cloud-based or vendor-hosted solutions. These offerings turn heavy upfront capital investment into more predictable operational costs. This makes financial tracking easier to manage, and also results in fewer time and personnel investments when it comes to conducting technological updates and other maintenance issues.

Bring in your financial teams from the beginning. Partnering with the finance department can help keep the project grounded and set on a realistic timeline. Consistent communication between IT and finance can allow for a more astute analysis of the financial impact of the project and the technology’s usage trends.

For more information about healthcare IT and usage patterns, the podcast below focuses on patient engagement and adoption trends among medical professionals and patients.

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SIIM 2013: Mobile & Medical Imaging Create Quite the Couple

Jeff Fleming, Vice President, Healthcare IT Americas, Carestream

Jeff Fleming, Vice President, Healthcare IT Americas, Carestream

When it comes to medical imaging, mobile applications may not be the first technologies that come to mind. But in the midst of a healthcare environment dominated by X-ray systems, RIS, PACS, CT, etc., mobile apps are beginning to poke their heads out of the ground, becoming an important tool to provide enhanced features to physicians. Last year at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine’s (SIIM) annual meeting, much of the discussion focused on mobile imaging for the radiologist and physician. While that is definitely important, it is time to include the patient in the conversation. We at Carestream brought that up in SIIM conversations last year and it is now up to vendors and medical professionals to get patients more involved in their own healthcare.

Recent studies have shown that 60% of patients want to connect with their physicians electronically, and mobile apps are becoming the most convenient and best way to provide this experience. In addition to communicating with their medical providers, patients are demanding online access to clinical data—a Harris Interactive poll claiming that 65% of patients consider this ability to be either “important” or “very important.” With this demand for digital capabilities so high, vendors must ensure that the design and user experience of these technologies is clean and simple to use so that patients get the most out of the use.

Much of the debate around how to create these apps centers on building them in a native operating system (OS), such as Apple iOS, or in a coding language like HTML5. Here at Carestream, we built our MyVue patient portal in HTML5 to ensure that users could access information via a Web browser on a desktop, laptop, or iPad.* The key capability for mobile applications must be accessibility—both for the patient and the medical professional. Limiting access and features to certain devices, while understandable from a development standpoint, is confusing from an access one. Versatility is the name of the game and it was an important focus of ours when building MyVue.

If there’s one trend that mobile devices have highlighted, it’s that people respond to richer content such as images and videos. Think of all of the photos and videos that have been downloaded, watched, and shared using mobile devices, and it becomes easy to see why access to medical images needs to head in this direction. Our culture has shifted to mobile. Healthcare is in the process of making the shift, and medical imaging needs to make sure it isn’t left behind.

At SIIM 2013, I’ll be participating in a session entitled “Medical Imaging? There’s an App for That!” The session will be held Thursday, June 6, from 2:45 pm–3:45 pm at the Longhorn Exhibit Hall Innovation Theater at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine (Dallas), Texas. The moderator is nationally recognized researcher and speaker Dr. David S. Hirschorn, Director of Radiology Informatics at Staten Island University Hospital.

You can go to the Carestream website for more information about our attendance at SIIM 2013 and the products we will be demoing.

* Among mobile devices, MyVue is based on Vue Motion technology, and the technology is FDA cleared for only the iPad

UPDATE – June 12, 2013: Below is an embedded version of the presentation I gave at SIIM on June 6, 2013.

Dragon Boat Racing Offers Breast Cancer Survivors a New Way to Get Fit While Building Comradery

Cristine Kao

Cristine Kao, Global Marketing Manager, Healthcare IT, Carestream

Breast cancer survivors have joined together in an activity that focuses on support, wellness and competition as way to recover from breast cancer. The diagnosis of breast cancer has brought survivors from around the world together in the unique paddling sport of dragon boating.

Paddling in colorful dragon boats offers an active, health-giving, life-affirming option for breast cancer survivors. Dragon boat racing is a relatively new but rapidly growing international activity. A dragon boat is a long, colorful wooden or fiberglass boat adorned with a dragon head at the front and tail at the back — with room for about 20 paddlers and a drummer. Teams of cancer survivors and their supporters paddle in harmony to the beat of a drum. The sport of dragon boating provides the benefit of vigorous exercise and may help prevent or relieve the symptoms of lymphedema — a common side effect from the effects of breast surgery or radiation.

I recently had the opportunity to coach a group of breast cancer survivors from the Dragonheart Vermont club that plans to send a crew to the U.S. National Championship in September. These contestants will compete to win a chance to represent the U.S. at the 2014 Club Crew World Championships in Ravenna, Italy. The championship has a division for breast cancer survivors and it’s estimated that there are about hundreds of dragon boat breast cancer teams around the world.

Cancer research and treatment has made dramatic strides in the last 10 years. Thousands of activities publicize the ability for survivors to recover from this previously debilitating disease and live normal, active lives. However more research is needed, which is why we all need to support additional research to develop new detection methods and treatments for all forms of cancer.

Please visit the International Breast Cancer Paddlers Commission if you would like to get involved with a local team. The rewards are many!

We would like to hear comments from readers who have participated in these types of events. When did you first hear about dragon boat races and what benefits have you received from being on a dragon boat team?

Dragon Boat Team

Dragon Boat Team

Long-Term Demand Realistic for Retrofit X-ray Systems as Providers Make Switch to DR

Helen Titus

Helen Titus, Marketing Director, X-ray Solutions, Carestream

I have to take exception to a key statement in “The World Market for General Radiography and Fluoroscopy X-ray Equipment – 2013” report issued by IMS Research, a subsidiary of market research firm IHS. According to this report, growth in the market for retrofit X-ray kits that convert film or CR-based X-ray systems to digital radiography will peak in 2014. After that, the report states that economic stability will allow more facilities, especially in Europe, to start purchasing new equipment and retrofit sales will slow.

Retrofit systems allow healthcare facilities to upgrade existing analog X-ray rooms or mobile X-ray systems with DR detectors. This report suggests the adoption rate for retrofit kits is being driven primarily by a slow economy (and limited budgets) and will fall off when the economy recovers and healthcare facilities opt to purchase new imaging systems instead.

We see retrofits and new DR systems as part of a circle of equipment life. Hospitals and health systems often choose to retrofit newer analog rooms and mobile systems and purchase new DR systems as their systems age. We also must consider other imaging services providers—imaging centers, physicians’ offices, orthopedic clinics, smaller hospitals and others—that will implement retrofit kits for their convenience and cost advantages.

Carestream has an added advantage since we further extend the life of our detectors by allowing them to be used in any DRX room or DRX mobile imaging system. As the retrofitted X-ray system needs to be replaced, the DRX detector can be redeployed in a new room or new mobile imaging system, increasing the return on the original investment. If a new mobile X-ray imaging system is purchased, the retrofit DRX detector can then be moved to convert a CR-based portable or room.

Looking forward, we anticipate a synergistic blend of retrofit and new DR systems transforming the huge worldwide base of CR and film-based systems. This transition can lead to faster, more convenient image access and can help physicians enhance patient care.

Is your healthcare facility using retrofit systems? And do you plan to continue to use retrofits as part of your overall transition to DR systems?

Vue Cloud Serves as Architecture for E-Learning Programme

Jean-Philippe Masson, Chairman, Forcomed

Jean-Philippe Masson, Chairman, Forcomed

A French translation of the following post can be found below, after the English version.

Forcomed has retained Carestream’s Vue Cloud solution as the technical architecture for its new digital mammography e-learning programme. Jean-Philippe Masson, Chairman of Forcomed, was happy to answer our questions.

Can you tell us about your training organisation?

Forcomed is an organisation that offers training to radiologists and their colleagues. It was set up in 1994 by the professional body for radiologists in private practice. Since then, Forcomed has trained over 40,000 people in various subjects including mammography, radiation protection, quality, emergency care.

What is the background to your partnership with Carestream?

The partnership began following an invitation to tender for a digital mammography training system on dedicated workstations. It was a pretty big challenge because 4,000 radiologists had to be trained in three years. We rose to the challenge to the great satisfaction of participants, as shown in surveys carried out after each training course.

Can you describe this new e-learning training project for us?

This new project falls within the scope of CPD (continuing professional development) which provides a compulsory legal framework for the annual training of radiologists linked to an analysis of their work. The idea is to offer training that is complementary to training previously undertaken, in the form of reading packages and auto-correction software, allowing this programme to be taken remotely on workstations set up in radiology clinics.

What developments are in store?

The aim is to offer this programme every year according to the needs of radiologists performing mammographies. It is also completely conceivable to offer it to other radiologists outside France who are part of a breast cancer screening programme or who wish to improve their mammography skills.

French translation:

Forcomed a retenu la solution CARESTREAM Vue Cloud comme architecture technique pour les  formations e-learning dédiées à la mammographie numérique. Jean-Philippe Masson, Président de Forcomed, a bien voulu répondre à nos questions:
Pouvez-vous nous décrire votre organisme de formation?

Forcomed est un organisme de formation des médecins radiologues et de leurs collaborateurs, créé par la structure professionnelle de défense des radiologues libéraux en 1994. Depuis sa création, Forcomed a formé plus de 40.000 personnes sur des sujets variés : mammographie, radioprotection, qualité, urgences.

Quel est l’historique du partenariat avec Carestream?

Le partenariat a débuté suite à un appel d’offre pour choisir un système de formation à la mammographie numérique sur consoles dédiées. L’enjeu était conséquent puisque 4000 radiologues devaient être formés en 3 ans. Le pari a été tenu pour la plus grande satisfaction des participants comme en témoignent les enquêtes réalisées après chaque formation.

Pouvez-vous nous décrire ce nouveau projet de formation e-learning?

Ce nouveau projet s’intègre dans le cadre du DPC (développement personnel continue) qui donne un cadre légal obligatoire à une formation annuelle des radiologues associée à une analyse de leur pratique. L’idée est de proposer une formation complémentaire à celle qui a été réalisée précédemment à travers des kits de lecture et un logiciel d’auto correction permettant de réaliser ce programme à distance sur des consoles installées dans les cabinets de radiologie.

Quels sont les développement futurs?

Ce programme a donc pour objectif d’être décliné tous les ans en fonction des besoins des radiologues réalisant la mammographie. Il est tout à fait envisageable aussi de le proposer à d’autres radiologues hors de France inscrits dans un programme de dépistage du cancer du sein ou souhaitant se perfectionner à la mammographie.

[Podcast] TheVue – Episode 1 – Patient Engagement & Adoption

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A conversation with Carestream’s Julie Weidman, marketing manager for the U.S. and Canada, and Cristine Kao, global marketing manager for the company’s Healthcare Information Solutions (HCIS) division. The two dive into the trend of patient engagement, medical professionals’ opinions on this trend, and whether or not it’s realistic to depend on patients to adapt to the new healthcare technologies being developed.

Tufts Medical Center Reports on its Makeover—Three Years Later.

Don Thompson, US&C Marketing Manager, Carestream

Don Thompson, US&C Marketing Manager, Carestream

According to InMedica, today, “retrofit wireless detectors are the fastest growing segment of the flat panel detector (FPD) detector market in the Americas, and unit shipments will more than double from 2011 to 2016.”* But back in 2009 the concept was still relatively new, and it took an innovator like Tufts to pioneer their first DRX-1 wireless DR detector to convert a CR room to DR. The technology was quite new—but they could see the potential to upgrade their X-ray capability without a costly reconstruction of their old CR rooms. The Carestream team arrived on a Friday, and on Monday AM Tufts was imaging as usual with the new equipment in place. They expressed their happiness in a video that you can watch here.

But fast forward three years to February 2013—how does Tufts feel today? We sent a film crew to Boston to capture the story. They have expanded their DRX-system at the hospital and are just as happy today as they were when the equipment first arrived on the scene 3+ years ago. Are you ready for a makeover—it might be time!

The video below provides some details about Tufts’ conversion to DRX.

*The World Market for General Radiography and Fluoroscopy X-Ray Equipment – 2012 Edition, InMedica, April 2012.


It’s Not the Coldest Journey, but It’s Still an Adventure

Jane Grimsley, Marketing Manager for Digital Capture Europe, Carestream

Jane Grimsley, Marketing Manager for Digital Capture Europe, Carestream

The Coldest Journey has captured much of our attention over the past few months at Carestream. Back in January, we announced that Sir Ranulph Fiennes and his team would be taking along the DRX-Transportable system on the trek across Antarctica in the dead of winter. Four months later and we’re happy to report that the journey continues, however Sir Ranulph had to head home because of a case of frostbite. The team has forged ahead in his absence across the dangerous ice environment, in the name of both adventure and charity.

The Coldest Journey set out to raise $10 million for Seeing is Believing, an organization dedicated to eliminating avoidable blindness and visual impairment. In the same spirit as the Coldest Journey, five Carestream Health UK Limited employees attempt a strenuous, though not quite as dangerous journey of their own. The “Wee Bit Chilly Journey” will take our colleagues on a cycling adventure across the UK from coast to coast. The team will travel from Hull to Liverpool (178 miles) from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th June finishing at the Arena and Convention Centre, Albert dock, Liverpool just in time for the UK Radiology Conference, which takes place from Monday 10th to Wednesday 12th June.

If you would like to make a donation to support the five cyclists who will attempt this feat, donations to Seeing is Believing can be made through

Wee Bit Cold

Pictured from left to right: Back Row – Charlie McCaffrey, Kevin Smith, Mark Stewart;
Front Row Nick Brown, Martin Stewart