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04 November 2021

Advances in PACS & enterprise imaging systems at HIMSS 2021


Taking advantage of new technology advances, several radiology PACS, enterprise imaging and cardiovascular information system (CVIS) vendors are releasing new, completely revamped platforms. This was a trend across vendors we visited at the the 2021 Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) in-person meeting in August.


The newer platforms are increasing speeds to access images and report, better flow and integration with vendor neutral archives, use of zero-footprint image viewers for both radiologists and referring physicians, and deeper integrations of artificial intelligence (AI) and third-party applications so they are seamless in the workflow.


"About 90% of new system installations are going to be cloud-based solutions," said Brad Levin, Visage Imaging general manager, North America and global head of marketing. He said the trend for enterprise imaging systems and PACS is clearly going moving to cloud based solutions because it solves several issues for hospitals.


Use of cloud-based systems also help with easier integration with large hospital electronic medical record (EMR) systems. These vendors explained they can now easily integrate with most of the larger EMR vendors, most notably Epic, Cerner and Allscripts.


Some vendors are also moving to larger cloud data storage platforms, such as Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS). The value in the larger platforms is that they can scale immediately for any since healthcare enterprise and the hospitals no longer need to maintain and upgrade servers. But the biggest asset is said to be the higher level of security with these mega cloud server companies. They have large, dedicated IT teams that monitor data security 24/7.


"The cloud is bringing a lot of scalability and physicians can focus on patients rather than on IT concerns," explained Tracy Byers, Change Healthcare general manager for enterprise imaging.