Change is Coming | Imaging Technology News

TECHNOLOGY

I took my family to Blockbuster this weekend for a selection of movies. I hope you have some left to rent. Then I realized it wasn’t 2001. Blockbuster had a disruptive impact on the entertainment industry, but it was transitional as innovations continued to change the way we consume media. The world of imaging has lived through a revolutionary transition from film to filmless to PACS 3.0.

A new wave of innovation is coming that will once again change the way images are captured, diagnosed and stored.

From acquisition to archive

For years we have talked about the cloud and its role in architecture. We are now rapidly moving to true cloud-based infrastructures as organizations look to sell their data centers due to cost and risk. Vendors are working hard to redesign their solutions to be cloud-native, not just cloud-enabled. Moving existing solutions to the cloud is limited in value by the challenges associated with DICOM and the simple math of getting images to the desktop at the speed required for effective reading.

There are several start-ups rushing into the market to demonstrate their ability to provide imaging models that are as good, if not better, than the solutions we used. They utilize the same kind of streaming technology we are accustomed to watching movies with.In the next few years, the consumption of medical images will move from acquisition to archiving and all the steps in between. is expected.

innovative technology

One of the challenges facing the industry is absorbing the costs of migration. Most imaging projects are funded under the concept of a ‘burning platform’. For many reasons, it is difficult to fund alternative technologies unless there are factors against the decision making. The future therefore has great potential to improve workflows, but it will take time for our industry to achieve this. However, as legacy systems continue to be phased out due to obsolete technologies and designs, I think we will see a big move towards cloud-native solutions.

Architecture is not the only reason for this change. Much like how we experience entertainment today, we will move from a technology capital expenditure model to software as a service based on cost-per-research. However, there are challenges related to how this can be justified. All cloud providers charge based on storage, size, ingress and egress. The more access to your research, the more you can expect to pay for your subscription. Many providers I have spoken to do not have an empirical understanding of image usage. There are very specific methodologies for radiologists to access and use prior histories, but that data is often not quantified to build business models for use in the cloud. Hmm. However, this becomes important and the vendor should provide a report on this to the customer.

An interesting element of this revolutionary technology is the incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) into the workflow. There are certainly many use cases for AI in reading workflows, but the industry will be transformed by AI in other ways. There are some compelling ideas about how AI can be used from scheduling to proper usage criteria to paperwork to billing. Many of these steps may not be managed by “PACS”, but future enterprise architectures, including imaging, will certainly accommodate these solutions.

future innovation

We have worked in a commoditized environment for the last 20 years. There have been changes, but slowly. Truly transformative changes are taking place right now, and I believe the world will look very different in the next decade. There are many problems in radiology that can be solved with innovative design and deployment.
I look forward to seeing it come to fruition.

jewish williams

Managed by Jeff Williams Paragon Consulting Partner Partners LLC is a healthcare IT consulting group based in Sacramento, California.

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