Inside McCormack Convention Center in Hall, A, the push for speed, productivity, and high availability of image data was on the tips of many vendor tongues, and this year, a key enabling technology is the cloud. Viewers, worklists, and archives have all been unhitched and sent skyward, so to speak. At the risk of sacrilege, the cloud seems to have occupied God's former place.
Brad Levin, Visage general manager, talked up that company's app-based, browserless viewer, explaining that the solution's server-side processing delivers advanced visualization capabilities with unparalleled speed by pulling data onto its server directly from the modality and then allowing radiologists to manipulate the image realtime via streaming from the server without moving the information to the desktop. "The DICOM payload does not have to be repackaged," he offers.
The solution can overlay a PACS to provide a consistent experience no matter where the radiologist is. Levin calls it the next wave in the development of image management, which began with the client-server and then progressed to web-based PACS. "At the end of the day, with all of the integration, you still have to have the data on your desktop," he says, dismissing the legacy technology.
Another cloud-based AV solution is offered by KJAYA, booth, 2660. President and founder Kovey Kovalan got his start designing games for Sony Playstation and went to work for a major IT vendor. They separated ways when Kovey wanted to deploy GPUs, gaming processing units, instead of CPUs. Covey says the GPUs are. More powerful by a magnitude of 100 and therefore capable of much. More complex tasks. He offers the solution on a per study basis from the cloud, with no fee for access.
Over at the GE booth, downsized in accordance with the more modest imaging era, Jeanine Banks, general manager, marketing, specialty solutions, HIT, talked about GE's Centricity OneView Workflow, backed by a vendor-neutral, XDS-compliant archive, which is currently storing a billion images worldwide, she says. This vehicle is GE's solution to the image-exchange problem.
"The front-end gives access to images via a browser-based solution that offers thumbnails of images and documents," she explains. It is currently used by the Ontario provincial government, but Banks says interest in the US is heating up and the company is in talks with several HCA hospitals.
The nation's 10th largest private radiology practice, Riverside Radiology & Interventional Associates, has spun off its highly effective worklist in a new imaging informatics software and services company called Lucid, booth 2532. The worklist, called RadAssist, is also a cloud-based solution, but Ron Hosenfeld, practice CIO, was quick to specify that the software could be loaded on a private "cloud/server" as larger practices would likely prefer, or the Lucid cloud. "Cloud has a negative connotation in health care, I think," Hosenfeld says.
With the big push this year, that could be changing.