Report from SIIM: Vendors at meeting attack communications barriers

June 4, 2009

Interoperability and improved efficiency were the dominant themes of products and applications unveiled and demonstrated this week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine meeting in Charlotte, NC. Vendors drew back the curtain on behind-the-scenes automation built into software, framing quick-click access to data as the means to improving communications among radiologists.

Interoperability and improved efficiency were the dominant themes of products and applications unveiled and demonstrated this week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine meeting in Charlotte, NC. Vendors drew back the curtain on behind-the-scenes automation built into software, framing quick-click access to data as the means to improving communications among radiologists.

Siemens is featuring enhancements to its syngo Portal Radiologist, focusing on tools that provide access in a single window to such patient information as new and previous imaging studies, previous reports, and lab values. The company has also updated its dictation tool, syngo Voice, and embedded syngo Workflow to include context-sensitive shortcuts. Siemens is also highlighting its recently introduced syngo Portal Executive, a web-based product designed to proactively manage administrative issues, providing such information as trends in exam volumes, patient wait times, and report turnaround times.

Brit Systems unveiled its next-generation browser Roentgen Works PACS, which utilizes such advanced web technologies as cloud computing, Linux cluster, and AJAX. These are the same Internet technologies that power the Google and Amazon websites, according to Brit Systems, which framed the new release as its most significant product introduction since the company launched teleradiology and PACS products more than 15 years ago. The firm also released at the SIIM meeting its BRIT SpeechWorks, an integrated voice recognition and structured reporting product that creates reports and builds a database of information about the report that can be used when coding exams, developing statistics, or mining clinical information.

AccelaRAD is showing new modules for its Virtual Radiology Network (VRN), tools that promise to increase the flexibility, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of the network that AccelaRAD clients use to connect offsite imaging service providers, teleradiology groups, and multisite imaging facilities with client sites. The company’s new PriorsAnytime module automatically retrieves previous patient images from any preconfigured third-party PACS. Retrieval occurs as a new patient exam appears onscreen, triggering a DICOM query/retrieve request to the relevant PACS. The new Study Upload module enables instant, on-the-fly transmission of exams from any Internet-enabled PC to AccelaRAD VRN user sites. With a few mouse clicks, the new module allows a radiology service provider’s clients and others with appropriate permission to upload diagnostic-quality DICOM exams to the VRN server for access by VRN users.

Compressus seeks to improve interoperability across a range of systems with the release at this meeting of its next-generation eEnterprise digital imaging and data management software. MEDxConnect version 2.6 builds on more than three years of development and testing in clinical practice with a proven ability to improve productivity by up to 30%, according to the company. The enhanced version allows users to create personalized worklist, reporting, and practice tools to streamline exam review, editing, and delivery. Enhanced study distribution algorithms allow interpreters to pull exams from other reading centers to help balance workloads. Extended interoperability built into version 2.6 moves beyond integrations with GE Centricity PACS and Philips iSite to include connections with information technologies from McKesson, Hologic, Cloverleaf, Kodak Carestream, and Visage Imaging, as well as Sage Intergy RIS, Meditech RIS, and PowerScribe 5.0.

The MEDxConnect System acts as a communications hub to create a virtual, unified worklist common to all connected users, enabling various health information systems to connect and communicate across the enterprise. A new return-on-investment package, highlighted at SIIM, will help facilities determine the kind of impact they can expect from an interoperability project in terms of increased efficiency or revenue, according to Compressus.