Sony markets its MD2GO telemedicine solution for radiologists

By Eric Wicklund
09:21 AM
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Sony’s innovative MD2GO is going to new places.

The mobile telemedicine station, a collaboration between Sony and Microsoft that features a remote HD IP camera system and a Windows 7 touch-based user interface on Sony’s Silverlight platform, made an appearance this month at the annual meeting of the Association for Medical Imaging Management (AHRA) in Dallas.

Company executives are touting the MD2GO as a necessary tool in radiology departments and stand-alone teleradiology practices of the future.

“The potential applications for MD2GO in radiology are virtually unlimited,” said Julie Holodak, senior marketing manager for Sony Electronics.. “In addition to enhancing communication between parties, there are also cost savings benefits and the potential for reimbursement that will only help to increase the successful adoption of MD2GO in radiology departments throughout the U.S. Following the tremendous success of the MD2GO in other markets including surgery, Sony is excited to bring this technology to radiology and extend the reach of this versatile system.”

Sony debuted the MD2GO earlier this year at the HIMSS annual conference and exhibition in Orlando, Fla., and the American Telemedicine Association conference in Tampa, Fla. Evan Krachman, Sony’s marketing manager for surgery and medical solutions, said the company is seeing strong interest from a mix of hospitals and clinics.

Krachman said the benefits for radiologists would be similar to those for other disciplines: The MD2GO gives clinicians the freedom to view x-rays and consult with specialists and patients no matter where they are.

The system is designed to enable HD video communication between remote parties through a PC and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Company officials say it could be used in the operating room for observing interventional radiology procedures, for patient monitoring following a procedure, or for teaching applications for radiologists or technologists.

Sony officials say the MD2GO is well positioned to take advantage of an aggressive market brought on by an influx of teleradiology practices and the willingness of hospitals to outsource radiology services. That point was pressed home by Lawrence R. Muroff, MD, president and CEO of Tampa-based Imaging Consultants, during a keynote speech at the AHRA conference.

Muroff warned that radiologists will face a difficult decade ahead as hospitals and other health providers become “less attached (and) less protective” of their radiology departments and more people – RAs, RPAs, PAs and RNs – enter the field. The key, he said, is to “think outside the box” and look for alternate methods to perform imaging services.

Patricia Kroken, a principal at Healthcare Resource Providers in Albuquerque, N.M., and another speaker at the AHRA conference, said radiology practices will need to improve their communications with hospitals, which account for more than 80 percent of their revenues, by adopting new technology.

In a story in HealthImaging.com, Kroken, speaking during an education session at AHRA, offered a long list of suggestions to radiologists, including prompt dictation, consistent participation in quality assurance, courteous treatment of technologists, cooperation with technology initiatives, participation on hospital committees, interfacing with administration beyond budget sessions, adherence with service agreements, attention to administrative provisions in contracts, education of medical staff and participation in quality improvement initiatives, hospital programs, community events, marketing outreach and strategic planning.