Agfa building out enterprise imaging platform with EHR integration, IBM Watson capabilities
Agfa Healthcare officials said that it is working to build out its enterprise imaging platform and, in so doing, taking cues from smartphones and electronic health records systems.
“Technology tends to consolidate,” said Miriam Ladin, director of marketing at Agfa Healthcare.
Just as EHRs have expanded to enable data sharing to a certain extent and smartphones now include many functions that once were sold separately — GPS, contact databases, email, music, games and flashlights just to name a few — the vendor is building out a platform that Lenny Reznik, vice president of marketing, described as purpose built.
“We’re trying to do the same thing in medical imaging that EMR companies did in the rest of the hospital,” Reznik said.
The company is building out its Agfa Enterprise Imaging Platform to serve all departments that touch imaging, Reznik added, which can be as many as 50 depending on the hospital.
Agfa’s platform encompasses a storage layer, viewing components for radiologists and simpler ones for other specialists, workflow and interface capabilities, an integration engine, the image sharing component, a portal for patient access, and ECM (enterprise content management).
“We don’t believe single purpose apps will be in the hospital for much longer,” Reznik said. “Look at Epic and Cerner — we know what the market wants.”
To that end, Agfa added a medical selfie app that hospitals can integrate into their website to enable patients to take a picture of a wound, log-in to the website, upload the image, then have a consultation to ask if they should come in to the hospital for a new regimen or continue treatments.
“There’s no reason for patients to come in when everyone has hi-res phones in their pocket now,” Reznik said. “It’s not just sending a pic, it’s part of the EHR workflow so clinicians can make better decisions.”
Ladin and Reznik said that enterprise imaging technologies are approaching a tipping point.
“The continuity of information, the sharing and bringing together of information for those who need it is what we’re going to see in the future, where the sharing is as commonplace as the sharing of data via EHRs,” Ladin said.
Take Watson, for example. Agfa has 20 different use cases that Reznik said the vendor is thinking of working with IBM on for medical imaging.
One already underway taps Watson to give radiologists a high-level summary of a specific patient’s medical history by reading everything in the EHR and homing in on only what that particular clinician needs at the point of care.
“The challenge is: where to start?” Reznik said. “Where can we bring the technologies together to make the most economic sense in today’s healthcare environment?”
Agfa will continue to add clinical depth to its platform and, as such, will also be showing an early version of what Reznik called “a complete pathology image information system,” on the show floor.
Agfa will be in Booth 1761.
HIMSS17 runs from Feb. 19-23, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center.
This article is part of our ongoing coverage of HIMSS17. Visit Destination HIMSS17 for previews, reporting live from the show floor and after the conference.