Feature | October 11, 2007

The Art of Communication

Cristen C. Bolan, Editor, Imaging Technology News

The objective of ASTRO’s 49th Annual Meeting is “Treating Cancer While Preserving Quality of Life.” With radiation therapy, in particular, achieving this goal requires accuracy and a bit of finesse to precisely deliver treatment with minimal collateral damage. Consider it a skillful fusion of art and science.
ASTRO will also emphasize the art of communication linked to technology, as defined by the program’s mission: “to promote interdisciplinary collaboration and the exchange of ideas, information and practical solutions in relation to the prevention, function preservation, treatment options and quality of life of patients.”
For this kind of information exchange to be effective in the clinical setting, clinicians will use a highly interactive, multimedia platform — call it healthcare 2.0 — for meetings such as tumor board. Within this environment, they can collaborate virtually, delivering real-time decision support to improve patient outcomes. Of course, the appropriate infrastructure is required to support this, especially when the data involves multimedia formats like DICOM images, MPEG audiowaves and high-definition video.
Recently, ITN held its own virtual forum – a live Webinar – for the launch of IBM’s GMAS grid storage solution designed to manage high-volume image data. In a virtual Q&A session, healthcare professionals chatted with the CIO of HealthAlliance along with IBM and Siemens IT experts about the advantages of GMAS coupled with Siemens’ PACS/RIS. Attendees wanted to know: “Is the system scalable enough to handle 200 terabytes of data?” “What does grid storage provide across a high-speed connected RHIO?” And, “With Siemens’ PACS/RIS solution, how much can workflow and report turnaround time improve?” All of these questions were answered right there and then – in a rapid exchange of ideas in real-time. So as healthcare increasingly adopts technology to improve patient outcomes, we see how fusing art and science makes real sense.
You can find all of the answers to the Webinar questions at www.ITNonline.net. Just click on “GMAS - Clinical Data, PACS & IBM” Webinar.

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