Greg Freiherr has reported on developments in radiology since 1983. He runs the consulting service, The Freiherr Group.
HIMSS 2019 Tuesday - Intelerad Promotes Flexibility and Highlights Enterprise Imaging Solutions
Flexibility and modularity were key points discussed at the HIMSS19 Intelerad booth. Photo by Greg Freiherr
Intelerad Medical Systems came to the annual meeting of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) with a “big idea” for re-engineering IT enterprise imaging.
Its vision, according to Paul Lepage, who joined the firm last fall as its president and CEO, is to free-up health system and radiology practices from the limitations of legacy imaging IT systems, and to provide modern, secure and highly scalable cloud-based solutions. Legacy systems, for example, might be retained. Alternatively, Intelerad can help customers consolidate data from multiple repositories into a single imaging archive.
“Unlike some other vendors, we have the ability to accommodate many different scenarios for enterprise imaging,” Lepage told ITN.
The company, according to an official statement, is acting on the belief that its clients are “looking for our guidance to help them design the best solution for their specific needs.”
Demos On HIMSS Exhibit Floor
Company capabilities are being shown at its booth on the HIMSS exhibit floor in demonstrations and discussions centering on enterprise imaging solutions. Prominently featured is the zero-footprint worklist technology, which joined the Intelerad portfolio last fall when the company bought Seattle-based Clario Medical. The vendor-neutral product, described by Lepage as “PACS agnostic,” can be applied as a module in an existing ecosystem of technologies or as part of a “highly scalable” enterprise imaging solution. It can be adapted to the customer’s infrastructure strategy.
Designed to work with any PACS, this product, called the Clario SmartWorklist, is designed to ensure that results of imaging exams are distributed to appropriate radiologists, as defined by the reading needs of the radiology group.
It is a key element of several Intelerad-suggested implementations. Large data volumes might be consolidated, for example, by implementing the Clario SmartWorklist and the InteleOne XE, which is designed to seamlessly link clinicians to patient images and reports stored across various information technologies, including EMR systems, PACS and VNAs.
How Intelerad Emphasizes Flexibility And Modularity
The company espouses integrating products in ways that reflect the IT and business strategies of its customer. Intelerad is not pushing any specific solution to clients but rather “jointly architecting the best solution to help solve different challenges,” the company stated.
Intelerad offers infrastructure options that emphasize flexibility. Storage plans, for example, allow data to reside on-premise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid mixture of the two. (These go beyond cloud-based disaster recovery solutions.)
Data storage, according to the company, can be managed partially or fully as a service with its “platform as a service” (Paas) model. Additionally, if customers want, they can offload IT management in regard to hardware maintenance, storage infrastructure and overall security. Underlying this is Intelerad’s modular approach to enterprise imaging.
“We have the ability to mix and match components,” Lepage said. “It’s a value proposition.”
The modular approach can also be adapted to fit artificial intelligence apps. AI is now a hot area, he said, because of how it might increase the productivity of radiologists. The company is factoring in the continued evolution of its approach to enterprise imaging to allow for the inclusion of AI apps, regardless of whether they are developed by third parties or Intelerad. (Last spring the company announced it was launching a platform to access and manage AI apps that analyze radiological images.)
Its message to prospective customers is to “replace at your own pace.” This scaled approach gets away from the idea of replacing entire imaging ecosystems. These might be comprised, for example, of multiple PACS or vendor neutral archives; multiple image viewers; and connections to electronic medical record systems. Replacing these ecosystems might not only be costly but could entail substantial down time for network users.
The company enumerated about a half dozen challenges that Intelerad can help health systems resolve. These are:
- Adapting to organizational growth and changes;
- Improving integration and eliminating silos (traditionally designed as specialties that maintain their own data);
- Maximizing the longevity of aging IT systems;
- Avoiding complex and disruptive data migrations;
- Controlling data and addressing security and privacy requirements; and
- Meeting budget constraints.
“Our business model and our business (are) based on the success of our customers,” he said. “We want to be able to support their growth.”