Technology | December 17, 2014

Siemens Introduces Cloud-based Healthcare Network to Connect, Compare, Collaborate

Evaluation of data from medical devices to enable more efficient use

Cloud based technology, Teamplay, PACS accessories, dashboards, RSNA 2014

Image courtesy of Siemens

December 17, 2014 — Helping connect healthcare experts and increasing the usability of the wealth of medical imaging data is the goal of a cloud-based network solution from Siemens Healthcare. This cloud-based network, which Siemens displayed at RSNA 2014, helps link hospitals and healthcare experts to provide them with the ability to exchange data and pool their knowledge. Within hospitals, Teamplay makes it possible to evaluate the extensive amount of information generated by imaging devices – e.g. scanner capacity utilization, examination times or radiation doses – and to compare the numbers against in-house and third-party reference values. This means imaging devices can be analyzed in close to real time and their operation optimized based on the results, right down to individual device level. Because Teamplay runs on tablets, laptops and desktop PCs, members of the network have flexible access to the information, subject to the appropriate authorization and security measures.

An easy-to-install DICOM application connects to the Teamplay user network. Data relevant for the evaluation is anonymized and encrypted for transmission to the Teamplay cloud, where it can be accessed at any time with the appropriate authorization.

The Teamplay start page allows users to read the information they want to at a glance: how many patients were examined and how long was the average examination? What was the capacity utilization of the various modalities or the individual scanners? How long was the interval between the individual examinations? In graphical form, Teamplay provides answers to these and other questions. It also makes it possible to define target values for these types of parameters and have deviations displayed promptly. This helps customers operate their devices more efficiently and make sound decisions. When it comes to lung cancer screening, which has been recommended recently in the United States as a form of preventive medical check-up, Teamplay can rapidly help determine whether a hospital has sufficient CT capacity available to perform the expected additional number of scans.

The network can also be used to monitor the doses applied by medical devices – another precondition for healthcare facilities to be able to perform lung cancer screening examinations. As with all examinations involving ionizing radiation, it is essential in these cases to apply a dose only as low as reasonably achievable. Teamplay can continuously monitor the dose used, broken down by the parts of the body volumes being examined. Target values can be defined and deviations clearly shown.

Teamplay supports radiologists by making images and results available securely and in anonymized form to other physicians world-wide to draw on their expertise. Results can be quickly and easily shared between radiologists and referring and treating physicians, to provide the parties involved in treating the patient access to all relevant patient information.

The product is currently under development and not commercially available.

For more information: www.siemens.com

 

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