Whirlwinds of Change — What Can We Anticipate? Part Two

Digital Imaging and Healthcare IT Challenges: Advances & Trends for 2016

This post is a continuation of the piece that appeared here on EverthingRad on December 22, 2015. It covers additional imaging and IT trends projected for 2016.

  • Trends in Telemedicine

As Beth Walsh writes in Clinical Innovation + Technology, the use of telemedicine expanded significantly Image: View to the futureduring 2015. Now, REACH Health identifies telemedicine technology trends to watch for over the next year. Here are two of the most interesting:

Growing obsolescence of proprietary hardware and networks:  Proprietary hardware and networks were standard in the early in telemedicine technology. Now, providers are seeking more flexible solutions. Effective telemedicine can be powered by off-the-shelf PC components, standard, low-cost cameras and emerging networking standards such as WebRTC. These products allow providers to choose the most appropriate end-point – whether it be a high-performance cart, a PC or a mobile device such as an iPad or Android.

Richer clinical apps for physicians: To best recreate the bedside experience for doctors and patients, telemedicine solutions should support individual physician preferences. And, they should help healthcare organizations standardize treatment protocols. In response, telemedicine is becoming more adaptable, providing physicians the flexibility to specify how information is displayed and utilized – all within the boundaries of clinical protocols defined by the provider organization. More details here.

  • Digital Breast Tomosynthesis To Go Beyond Experimental

In October of 2015, Radiology Today published a piece on the present and future of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT). Authors Lonnie Johnson, MBA, and Missy Lovell, BSN, RN, MBA report that DBT, due to its improved accuracy percentages in breast cancer screening, has already become more popular than digital mammography. Moreover, it requires fewer patient recalls for additional testing.

For these reasons, DBT is no longer regarded as investigational by most experts. Unfortunately, while CMS has made the decision to facilitate access to DBT exams by covering them, private payers have been slower to pay for exams – still perceiving the process to be experimental in nature. In turn, not surprisingly, this has created some difficulties for providers in balancing the demand for DBT with reimbursement.

Unfortunately, it takes time, evidence, and education for providers to accept state-of-the-art technology and approve for payment. A review and understanding of payer requirements and/or a discussion with the top payers is recommended to help DBT readily become readily accessible and reimbursable for patients who will benefit from it. More details here.

  • Sophisticated Imaging Technology Will Become Even More Dominant in NFL

The October, 2015 issue of Radiology Today placed a special spotlight on imaging the NFL – reporting how many teams are moving forward to bolster their capabilities with full digital X-ray, PACS systems and even MRI. The issue’s lead article, by contributor Beth Ortenstein, quotes Matthew J. Matava, MD – past president of the NFL Physicians Society, chief of sports medicine at Washington University, and head physician for the St. Louis Rams – as saying that all 32 NFL teams have X-ray units at their stadiums… and while some are older and some more advanced, all meet the requirements of modern imaging technology.

But bigger things are on the way: several teams, including the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers have bought Carestream DRX mobile and full-room systems for their stadiums. These systems are designed to accelerate weight-bearing, cross-table and tabletop studies of patients weighing up to 650 pounds, according to a Carestream spokesperson. What’s more, the recent agreement between the NFL and players to invest more heavily in player health is likely to accelerate this trend toward state-of-the-art being ready to go on game day. More details here.

For a closer look at Carestream’s full portfolio, please visit carestream/com. Part One of this article can be found here.

JianqingBennettBWJianqing Bennett, President, Digital Medical Solutions, Carestream Health

Top Five Health IT Blogs of 2015 from Everything Rad

As we near the end of 2015, it is a popular time of year to take a look back at the blogs that generated the highest interest throughout the year. In this summary, we look at some of the most popular Everything Rad healthcare IT blogs of 2015 covering value based healthcare, radiology reporting, meaningful use and clinical collaboration.

  1. Four Reasons Multimedia is the Future of Radiology Reporting – We have been touting the power of multimedia-enhanced radiology reporting for some time. We have shown the history of reporting in our industry, as well as showcased the important business cases multimedia reporting provides to departments via referrals from physicians. In brief—multimedia-enhanced radiology reporting is the future.
  1. What Does Clinical Collaboration Really Mean? – Clinical collaboration was born out the use of our vendor-neutral archive (VNA). The VNA served as a housing mechanism for medical images across a variety of –ologies, not just limited to DICOM images. With the VNA, the images remain safe and accessible when necessary, however, to enable intelligent, user-based sharing, more than just storage is needed.
  1. Imaging’s Place in Value-Based Healthcare – The answer to a question asked in a SIIM 2015 Friday morning session was clear–medical imaging needs to make further progress to be in a position to provide value-based care.
  1. White Paper: Metadata – Creating Meaningful Access to Clinical Images & Data – Metadata is explored in greater depth in an effort to truly uncover its value and importance not only medical imaging, but also in all patient clinical data.
  1. Video: The Value of Imaging Sharing in Clinical Collaboration – See how image sharing on the Clinical Collaboration Platform is able to give clinicians real time, on-demand access to imaging results, as well as how it can empower patients to share their images between facilities, physicians, and specialists. 

Whirlwinds of Change — What Can We Anticipate?

Digital Imaging and Healthcare IT Challenges: Advances & Trends for 2016

Part One

It’s that time of year again – when industry publications, websites and blogs roll out their predictions on the imaging and IT trends that will be most influential in the coming year. As always, the changes are coming at us with ever-increasing speed.

For this post, I surveyed a range of respected industry sources and condensed many of their predictions for quicker reading. If you’d like to explore any of the viewpoints here further, the link to the complete article is always listed.

  • Healthcare IT Advances Set to Fuel Explosive Market Growth

Rajiv Leventhal reports in Healthcare Informatics that while the global digital health market is already valued at over $55.3 billion, it’s projected expected to continue expanding by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 21 percent by 2020, according to a report from P&S Market Research.The report attributes this surge to the growing demand for an advanced healthcare information systems and growing investments by health IT players. Electronic health records (EHR), mobile health (mHealth)  and telemedicine will fill a pressing need for more efficient diagnosis, treatment, care and rehabilitation. Improved patient-provider communication via mobile devices and apps will support reduced medication errors and provide better overall care.

More details here.

  • Transitioning From Interoperability to Advanced Interoperability

Gary Palgon, VP of Healthcare of Life Sciences Solutions at Liaison Technologies, writes in Healthcare IT News that compliance with the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive program’s proposed rules for Stage 3 Meaningful Use will require enterprises to make a greater investment in connecting internal and external systems. With fundamental levels of interoperability largely achieved, the focus will now shift to advanced interoperability – seamlessly pulling together data from connected systems to present a holistic, uniform view of the patient’s health. This is crucial, as without advanced interoperability, there’s no way to bridge the gap between more data and meaningful data. More details here.

  • Stretching Budgets With Refurbished Equipment

AuntMinnie.com reports that the market for refurbished medical equipment will be worth $9.37 billion U.S. (8.3 billion euros) by 2019, according to a new report by MarketsandMarkets. Medical imaging equipment categories covered in the survey include x-ray, ultrasound, MRI, CT, nuclear medicine, and others systems such as C-arm and mammography devices. This trend is being driven by a growing demand for lower-cost medical devices due to financial constraints, the need to achieve more economical specialty exam capabilities and increasing privatization in the healthcare sector.

There is some resistance among public institutions regarding the purchase of refurbished medical equipment due to a perceived lack of standardization of policies governing its sale and use. Even so, MarketsandMarkets stands by their projections for this trend. More details here.

  • Progress to Come Gradually For the Less-Than-Half of Managed Care Organizations Without Access to EMR Data

Healthcare Economics recently reported on the results of a Digital Trends Study by Precision Advisors. Based interviews with 145 managed care executives, the study concludes that while Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) are aware of the benefits big data and predictive analytics, they are not able to fully implement them. Specifically, only 46 percent of MCOs currently have access to EMR data. And, while 73 percent of MCO executives surveyed expect to see this increase by 26 percent over the next several years, the specifics of this progress have yet to be seen. Survey respondents cited interoperability challenges as a key barrier to integrating EMR data. More details here.

Part Two will be posted on 12/29/15

JianqingBennettBWJianqing Bennett, President, Digital Medical Solutions, Carestream Health

Radiology Insights #55: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

This week’s articles focus on the move to personalized medicine, increased imaging use in the ED, an IDC reportCarestream, Radiology that predicts increased cyberattacks on patients’ healthcare data, the value of data stored in RIS and PACS systems for effective decision support, and a study that compared radiology findings with diagnoses provided by other clinical data sources.

Top 5 trends from RSNA 2015 in Chicago – AuntMinnie

This year, RSNA cast its gaze forward, looking at the trends that will shape medical imaging in the years to come. The move toward personalized medicine and data analytics will enable radiologists to find circumstances where imaging can be used most efficiently and economically. There is no doubt that the future of healthcare will be technology-driven, and it’s hard to find a medical specialty more grounded in technology than radiology.

Overall imaging use has slowed — but ED rates still high – AuntMinnie

Despite an overall slowdown in the rate of noninvasive diagnostic imaging in other settings, imaging use rates have continued to increase in the emergency department (ED), according to a study presented at the RSNA 2015 meeting by researchers from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Why do imaging use rates in the ED keep climbing? It could be because emergency departments are a significant source of medical care in the U.S. In fact, nationwide ED visits increased from 95 million per year in 1997 to nearly 140 million in recent years, which translates into higher imaging use rates, Patel said. Other factors include defensive medicine, dependence on technology, and the difficulty of evaluating complex patients under tight time constraints, she said.

Cyberattacks will compromise 1-in-3 healthcare records next year – ComputerWorld

Consumers will see an increase in successful cyberattacks against their online health records next year. A new report from IDC’s Health Insights group claims that because of a legacy of lackluster electronic security in healthcare and an increase in the amount of online patient data, one in three consumers will have their healthcare records compromised by cyberattacks in 2016. “Frankly, healthcare data is really valuable from a cyber criminal standpoint. It could be 5, 10 or even 50 times more valuable than other forms of data,” said Lynne Dunbrack, research vice president for IDC’s Health Insights.

Too much Big Data may not be enough – Health Management Technology

The quest to mine and analyze meaningful, reliable, and useful data from the burgeoning plethora of electronic and online sources, healthcare organizations can allow the big picture to overshadow many underlying and valuable components contributing to patient care improvement. The clinical data and diagnostic images in radiology information systems (RIS) and picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) remain two examples. For clinical imaging and radiology executives, these visual clues and cues are necessary for effective, efficient decision support. Certainly a growing number of manufacturers and information technology companies recognize this. As a result, they’re offering providers a light at the end of the tunnel.

System compares radiology results with downstream clinical information – Health Imaging

A system comparing radiology findings with diagnoses provided by other clinical data sources was recently put to the test in a study published online in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.  Early indications are that it passed. Lead researcher William Hsu, PhD, of Medical Imaging Informatics Group in Los Angeles, and colleagues evaluated their system, which pulls data from electronic health records and examines clinical reports for imaging studies relevant to the diagnosis. They said the goal of their system was “to establish a method for measuring the accuracy of a health system at multiple levels of granularity, from individual radiologists to subspecialty sections, modalities, and entire departments.”

Guess the X-ray – December’s Image Challenge

To end 2015 on a high note we’re offering up another round of our radiology image contest, and in the holiday spirit we’re including 2 images this time!

We welcome radiologists, technologists, RAs, MDs, PAs – or anyone who thinks they’re up to the challenge – to guess either subject in this educational X-ray quiz. Please leave your answer in the comment section below.


Sorry Carestream employees – please sit this one out.

Diagnostic Reading #54: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

Carestream LogoThis week’s articles focus on interoperability trends to watch in 2016, how socioeconomic factors affect patient care in radiology, FDA and PACS users, embracing the value-based payment model, and the population health management market.

HIE and Interoperability Trends to Watch in 2016 – Healthcare IT News

As the healthcare industry moves toward a more patient-centered mission, security measures and interoperability will progress at a steady rate, according to DirectTrust, a healthcare industry alliance created by Direct exchange network participants. The six predictions DirectTrust made for 2016 include: 1. Patients and consumers will participate in electronic health data exchange; 2. ‘Freed’ data will provide unimagined personal and professional enrichments; 3. Federal and state agencies will move toward increased interoperability; 4. Meaningful use will face forced, early retirement; 5. Security, privacy and identity will reign; and, 6. Direct exchange reliance will continue to increase.

Socioeconomic Factors Affect Patient Care in Radiology – AuntMinnie

According to a presentation at RSNA 2015, racial, social, and economic disparities can negatively affect patient access to radiology, and this adversly affects not only clinical outcomes, but also for a department’s bottom line. One way to examine these disparities is to look at missed radiology appointments, which can result in delayed diagnosis. The reasons patients may not appear for their appointments range from language barriers and cultural differences to practical issues such as transportation, child care, and an inability to miss work.

FDA Reminds PACS Users About Compliance Requirements – AuntMinnie

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning healthcare facilities that it may take compliance action if their PACS fails and images are lost due to preventable reasons. n a recent MQSA Insights article, the FDA noted that several recent Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) compliance cases highlight the need for PACS maintenance and upkeep to remain in compliance with legal requirements for retaining mammograms.

Survey: Payers Embracing Value-Based Payment Models – Healthcare Informatics

An overwhelming majority (73 percent) of surveyed health insurance executives are planning major, technology-driven transformation at their organizations, with even more (80 percent) moving towards value-based payment models, according to recent research from Burlington, Mass.-based vendor HealthEdge. The survey results of more than 100 payer executives show that while health insurers understand the significance of participating in a variety of new healthcare business models including value-based payments (80 percent), exchanges (69 percent) and accountable care organizations (ACOs, 55 percent), they remain hampered by a number of key factors that prevent them from effectively participating in these new approaches.

Population Health Management Market Will Double in Size to $31.9B by 2020 – Healthcare Informatics

As more hospitals and health systems transition to population healthcare delivery and payment arrangements, this movement is driving strong growth in population health management (PHM) software and services, with the global market expected to reach $31.9 billion by 2020, according to a report from Tractica. The report from Boulder-Colo.-based market intelligence company Tractica analyses the market for PHM and the report focuses specifically on software and services deployed with the goal of improving patient care while reducing costs.

Video: The Future of Medicine in Nigeria Depends on Radiology

We spoke with Professor Gbolahan Awosanya, Professor of Radiology, Provost Lagos State University College of Medicine, Nigeria, at RSNA 2015 about the future of medicine in his country.

Dr. Awosanya said that radiology will play a vital role in providing effective healthcare to citizens, but that there are several issues the country must overcome. The biggest one being that there must enough power provided to hospitals so that the equipment and technologies can stay online.

Video: Demonstration of the Touch Prime Ultrasound System

RSNA 2015 proved to be a busy year for the CARESTREAM Touch Prime Ultrasound System. We showcased the Touch Prime XE on the show floor, and had the area packed for a vast majority of the week, as attendees were interested in seeing one of the newest modalities we have to offer.

In the video below, Emilyann Fogarty, MS, RDMS, RVT, Worldwide Ultrasound Applications Engineer, Carestream, gives a demo of the CARESTREAM Touch Prime Ultrasound in the Carestream booth at RSNA 2015.

Video: Demo of the OnSight 3D Extremity System from Carestream

David Chan, Global Product Line Manager, Carestream, gives a demo of the, OnSite 3D Extremity CBCT Sytem from Carestream at RSNA 2015.

The OnSight System is designed to provide pristine 3D images at the point of care—with an easy-open bore and patient access to allow weight-bearing studies not possible with traditional CT. Plus, site and install requirements are low to enable a fast, affordable, convenient imaging process for timely diagnosis and commencement of treatment.

Carestream OnSight 3D Extremity System received FDA 510(k) clearance in September 2016.

Video: Fluoroscopy & Ultrasound Technologies Prove Beneficial in Nigeria

A. Musa Tabari, MBBS, FMCR, FICS, Consultant Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologist, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Nigeria, and Voke Oshevire, Executive Director, INC International Limited, Nigeria, discuss imaging trends and healthcare needs in their country.

Additionally, the two discuss how fluoroscopy and ultrasound provide beneficial healthcare imaging needs in Nigeria.