How technology to improve digitisation, connectivity and collaboration across diagnostics can reduce pressure on radiology staff and improve patient care.
Increased workload and radiology staff shortages are putting a strain on the healthcare system.
Last year the UK’s Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) census found that more than half (58%) of radiology leaders believe they lack sufficient diagnostic and interventional radiologists to keep patients safe.
In addition to this, the NHS needs nearly 2,000 extra radiologists to clear scan backlogs, meet safe staffing quotas and keep up with demand.
In an independent review of diagnostics services for NHS England, Professor Sir Mike Richards recommended the need for a new diagnostics model with more facilities created in free standing locations away from main hospital sites, including on the high street and in retail locations.
Professor Richards said this would provide quicker and easier access to a range of tests on the same day, supporting earlier diagnosis, greater convenience to patients and the drive to reduce health inequalities.
He also recommended prioritising connectivity and digitisation across all aspects of diagnostics to drive efficiency, deliver seamless care and facilitate remote reporting.
Streamlining the workflow
One way in which healthcare providers throughout Europe are delivering on this new diagnostics model is through the use of trailer fleets, which allow patients to have scans remotely with the results sent back to their doctor or hospital.
An example of this is mobile breast screening units used by the NHS, in which radiographers from static locations work on mobile units in rotation.
OpenRad’s Image Cube (powered by Visbion) has been successfully used by NHS breast screening services in the UK for many years and is installed in more than 50 mobile and static units.
The technology transforms the workflow for mobile screening by rapidly and securely transmitting images to the host hospital, as well as linking live NHS breast screening system (NBSS) and modality worklists.
Images from the mammography DATA are received from the mammography in DICOM 3.0 format and securely transmitted in encrypted format to the OpenRad data centre, before being sent to the destination PACS, eliminating the use of hard discs, memory sticks and paper wallet couriers.
This streamlines the workflow of mobile breast screening units and helps move to a more efficient way of working.
OpenRad also delivers an Image Cube mobile managed service, which provides automatic connection of mobile scanning trailers to the host hospital, as well as automatic re-configuration at each new site. The proven device also offers location tracking through GPS and enables remote monitoring and support of the modality.
A revolution in teleradiology
After having acquired both the modality fleet management provider Visbion and teleradiology software pioneer Biotronics3D, OpenRad now launches an enterprise remote reporting platform which delivers a fully digital end-to-end workflow process.
The enterprise remote reporting solution will combine Image Cube with Biotronics3D’s domestic cloud platform, offering radiologists the option to view images either through their existing PACS or through the cloud. Meanwhile, security is assured by two factor authentication with image access granted on a study basis.
“This launch is great news for all of us, as it brings together Visbion’s intelligent image management solutions with Biotronics3D’s cloud-based radiology information (RIS) and picture archiving expertise,” said Thomas Hartkens, OpenRad director of products. “By combining these individual products and services under the OpenRad umbrella, we will offer a fully digital, end-to-end workflow process. Collaborative, seamless and connected; this is the zero-footprint enterprise solution that diagnostic imaging centres urgently need.”
OpenRad’s mission is to revolutionise healthcare by delivering an open diagnostic network with the aim of improving teleradiology, diagnostics, and clinical decision making for all.
The SaaS-based platform offers secure remote image sharing and reporting workflow, including peer review. This aims to speed up the diagnostic process, increase efficiency, improve patient experience, and reduce costs.
Radiologists, referrers, imaging providers and patients are all able to access the web-based platform remotely via any device with internet access, making it easier to address complex decisions and drive innovation in disease prevention, diagnosis, and monitoring.
The OpenRad Enterprise Edition will be officially unveiled at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting in Chicago on November 28.
“I’m delighted that OpenRad will launch at RSNA as the new parent for Visbion and Biotronics3D,” said OpenRad ceo Brian Plackis Cheng. “Our comprehensive SaaS-based platform, OpenRad Enterprise Edition, will increase collaboration, improve patient outcomes, and reduce costs. It will better connect healthcare professionals, imaging centres, referrers, and their patients, unlocking the full potential of medical imaging. Together with our customers and partners, we will deliver a revolution in teleradiology.”
In 2023 OpenRad will also launch a new subscription model which will allow individuals to sign up to the enterprise solution.
OpenRad’s joined-up, collaborative approach is better for everyone in healthcare, academic and commercial settings, as well, most importantly, the patient.
For more information visit OpenRad’s website here.
This news story has been sponsored by the companies concerned and does not represent the views or opinions of RAD Magazine. Visit our dedicated RSNA conference page to find out more.