Learn why technology is impeding patient care and discover why healthcare isn't more efficient.
You would think in today's interconnected world, sharing or transmission of medical images would be easy. But, while technology enables us to connect in ways we never thought possible, it also does its fair share to deter its use in patient care. Here are the top reasons technology is holding back medical imaging progress.
PACS don't talk to each other
Most medical imaging installations are proprietary despite the fact that medical images typically adhere to the DICOM standard. Few are accessible by other systems. When we work within hospital systems, we often find multiple incompatible PACS systems (often from acquisitions) that don't talk to each other. Their physicians and radiologist crave sharing, but their technology holds them back.
Doctors can't access patient images
Physicians affiliated with that healthcare organization need access to their patients’ images. Often, the best solution is to log on to these remote systems with a web browser, having to recall a different set of credentials for each location, subject to time outs of their connections and poor image quality. Physicians crave access to these images on the equipment on which they are familiar and in more convenient settings. This often includes mobile solutions on pads or phones.
We rely on CD's and Sneakers...
Back (in the dark ages of the 1980’s) before Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs) or the internet, we used to joke about our network infrastruture being Sneaker Net; literally running between machines with a disk in our hand to transfer files. Interestingly, in the medical imaging world today Sneaker Net is alive and well and the predominant methodology for sharing of images. But perhaps worse, the data contained on these disks that we run between machines to share, is often not readable or incompatible.
Cost of investing in new technology
We are told by physicians that the volume of data that is now available to them is overwhelming. With squeezed reimbursements, they are not apt to spend money to solve a new problem. They go on to complain that the doctor - patient relationship already has become too impersonal and they fear more technology will exacerbate that problem.
What is the solution?
We must fix this mess! We must bring the medical imaging profession up to the 21st Century's ability to instantaneously share data. While technology is available, we must provide new business models for connecting, sharing and compatibility between these disparate systems.
That is what we believe in at Purview. Break down barriers. Share more faster. Give immediate access to caregivers wherever, whenever, and however they desire it. We are working with doctors and hospitals to break down the prejudices and historical barriers amongst PACS systems to encourage and enable the electronic interaction that is required for today’s healthcare. Our technology, while not a substitute for the personal interaction between patients and doctors, is a great way to supplement and complement the relationship by making medical information and diagnosis simpler and more accessible to both the doctors and patients who need it.