Fuji defines IT strategy at HIMSS 2007

March 1, 2007

When extending PACS outside radiology, engineers and the strategists behind their work may be tempted to create a common look and feel. But Fujifilm Medical Systems USA, which five weeks ago bought ProSolv Cardiovascular, is resisting that temptation.

When extending PACS outside radiology, engineers and the strategists behind their work may be tempted to create a common look and feel. But Fujifilm Medical Systems USA, which five weeks ago bought ProSolv Cardiovascular, is resisting that temptation.

The company will link the back ends of their respective information systems, Synapse PACS for radiology and ProSolv Cardiovascular, to support the interchange of images and patient data. But Fuji plans to keep the respective tool sets and workflow advantages they convey separate, so as to preserve efficiencies built into the two systems for the two distinct disciplines.

"We are immediately embedding Synapse data into the ProSolv application - and similarly for ProSolv data into Synapse - without having to change the user experience," said ProSolv president Aaron Waitz.

Fuji and ProSolv Cardiovascular explained this dualism to booth visitors at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference. The first adopters of this unified approach will take delivery of a consolidated Synapse-ProSolv IT system later this year, according to Bob Cooke, Fuji executive director of marketing and products management.

Synergies in the front ends of the two systems will be achieved now and in the future by employing industry standards such as Windows-based interfaces. The nuances that distinguish cardiology and radiology, however, will determine the look and feel of each system.

"The tool sets and requirements of cardiology are fundamentally different from those of radiologists, as are the workflows," Cooke said. "So we need user interfaces that allow each of these clinical areas to get the maximum efficiency from its diagnostic processes."

The ability to interchange files will take on greater significance as tests conducted by radiology and cardiology increasingly cross the bounds of their departments, Waitz said. Spearheading this interchange will be the cross-discipline adoption of cardiac CT.

Fuji's expansion into cardiology is part of a broader effort punctuated by the company's transformation of Synapse from image expediter to information purveyor through the integration of RIS. The company is now preparing to implement the first customer sites with this built-in capability.

"Although RIS exists as a stand-alone and its technology has not changed in 20 years, what we are doing for our radiology PACS is providing radiology information under a single platform," Cooke said.

The movement toward PACS/RIS among IT vendors began in earnest a few years ago. Its adoption by Fuji signifies the company's commitment to build a full portfolio of applications for managing the clinical system of radiology, he said.