Every avenue of the healthcare industry seems to be lapping up technological advancements; medical imaging technology and informatics are no exception. Clinical informatics solutions are applied to collect, store, analyse, and exchange information to improve the caregiving process. Healthcare informatics can also considerably lend itself toward population health management.
Medical imaging informatics is a branch of healthcare informatics that addresses every avenue of data related to medical imaging business. Image generations, processing of medical diagnosis of images, storage management, transfer and distribution of images, translation, and security all benefit the automation of informatics in medical imaging. As mHealth spreads its wings across multiple health clinics, patients can significantly benefit from informatics in healthcare. A radiology informatics company applies clinical data analysis to provide advanced health informatics.
As technology advances toward electronic health records, informatics in healthcare has created a drastic improvement in radiology. The ultimate goal of advanced health informatics is to apply information and data toward improving patient care and providing a better experience to healthcare entities. Custom healthcare solutions advance health informatics toward application in relevant areas, particularly medical imaging informatics.
OSP’s Advanced Health Informatics Solution
A U.S. client was looking for higher caregiving solutions by applying technologies to advance health informatics toward data mining and management. We leveraged our health informatics services to offer the following solutions:
- Data extraction toward holistic translation of crucial and relevant data patterns for meaningful translations through electronic data exchange.
- Suggestions are made for potential findings based on these translations and patient history.
- Quantitative reports for efficient comparison and an increase in speed and efficiency of the medical imaging professional.
- The key features of medical imaging machines were combined on a digital chip for increased real-time accessibility through integrated healthcare systems.
Challenges with Traditional Medical Imaging Processes
1. Disorganized Data
High volumes of unstructured data make the traditional medical imaging process tedious, with an urgent need for automated informatics healthcare in medical imaging.
2. Increasing Backlogs
Healthcare medical imaging accessibility is at an all-time low with the number of appointment backlogs in the current system, raising an urgent need for healthcare provider’s solutions.
3. Reduced Profits and Reimbursements
With the shift from fee-for-service to value-based payments, there is a severe drain on medical imaging revenues and reimbursement rates.
4. Exclusive Work Profile
When a medical imager is merely involved in translating the relevant image, holistic medical information is amiss. Informatics systems can offer reference points and suggestions for complete translations.
5. Rise in Competition
Traditional medical imaging systems struggle to stay relevant in a technologically advanced market that is rife with competition toward integrated care management through informatics systems.
6. Increased Patient Demands:
Satisfying today’s digitally aware customers with basic caregiving services, and patients expect a higher quality of care through informatics solution.
A Developmental Guide Toward Medical Imaging Informatics
1. Virtual Assistants
A virtual assistant is deployed by medical informatics companies with massive amounts of data and images as a reference guide and through intelligent healthcare automation. This feature uses health informatics technology for immediate clinical decision support toward diagnosis.
Advanced deployments initiate the execution of meaningful interpretation of medical diagnosis and the culling of latent information to distinguish patterns and offer suggestions and translations accordingly. Health informatics technology allows for the structuring and mining of data, allowing radiologists to use these translations and suggestions or virtual assistants toward meaningful analysis.
2. Real-time Imaging
The traditional system where a medical imager observes and translates a scan with full and final dependency on his interpretation is a thing of the past. With the deployment of automated and advanced health systems, informatics for medical imaging technologies offers intelligent learning capabilities in medical image analysis software.
Healthcare analytics solutions apply data mining toward identifying patterns and abnormalities that surpass the ability of human radiologists. Deep learning technologies are deployed to speed up this process and make it possible in real-time through healthcare interoperability.
3. Image Analysis
Data mining and image analysis are the most significant features of health informatics applications. Radiologists stand to gain immense benefit through intelligent data analysis of medical images. However, medical imaging software companies must be mindful of HIPAA compliance when dealing with data.
Medical image professionals can incorporate medical imaging software toward analysing data for higher patient experiences. A medical imaging software company can incorporate image analysis solutions that offer advanced deep learning computer vision software for automated analysis. The results are far superior to traditional methods and offer a significantly higher rate of accuracy and speed through artificial intelligence medical imaging.
4. Predictive Analysis
The predictive analysis technology can make great strides in increasing the overall efficiency of imaging equipment utilization for a diagnostic imaging company. The likelihood of errors is mitigated, and a misdiagnosis can be avoided entirely, contributing to higher patient experiences.
Embedding predictive analysis into medical image processing software will ensure that the technology executes identical processes as human involvement but higher efficiency and speed. Embedded with advanced mechanisms, patient engagement systems directly contribute toward value-based care.
5. Data Mining
Comprehensive research applications are deployed into the intelligent algorithms technology of medical imaging system solutions. These features aid the recognition of familiar and unfamiliar textures in medical images and offer meaningful suggestions toward its implications. Data repositories from medical records management solutions are integrated and applied for mining in medical imaging.
Patterning in medical images is more often than not missed out by radiologists and medical image examiners. This is due to the sheer incapacity of the human memory to recognize and retain information patterns. Therefore, computer-aided diagnosis adapts to the limitations of human radiologists and offers medical imaging solutions that harness the power of both.
6. Cloud-based Platform
Through cloud computing in healthcare, medical imaging solutions allow access to data across multiple locations and systems in a secure encrypted manner. A cloud-based platform allows the integration of medical imaging diagnostics for holistic analysis from multiple health clinics.
The traditional medical imaging business method involves physical analysis and labeling of medical images into relevant categories. A cloud-based platform offers data augmentation to image informatics in medicine that restricts the software from adopting comfortable structures and categories and forces the use of performance data that lies outside of the immediate box. This enhances the exposure of the software to offer results that are of higher probability and efficiency.
How to Overcome Medical Imaging Challenges?
The gradual shift from paper and film to computer and cloud is what marks the medical imaging industry. Leaders in radiology are not just keen on adopting technology but want better value and higher efficiency from the healthcare informatics technology. According to a HIMSS Leadership Survey, over 95% of the executives see healthcare informatics as a strategic and critical tool to help healthcare facilities succeed, especially in patient care.
As mentioned earlier, healthcare companies are dealing with a spectrum of imaging challenges. And as said previously, technology is the key to these challenges. However, it’s also essential that organizations using these new technologies can accommodate the ever-growing imaging demands and complexities. Of course, leaders are aware of the fragmented IT infrastructure, and the urge to leverage technology needs continuous improvement to meet the increasing demands and quality care.
Here’s how healthcare organizations can overcome medical imaging challenges.
1. Manage Image volume overload
As per a study conducted at Mayo Clinic, the demand for radiology has increased ten times from 1999 to 2010. From the above statistics, it’s clear that medical imaging demands have increased and will go higher. Adopting new medical imaging technology is the best to cope with this continuously growing demand. Medical imaging technology has been proven to increase life expectancy, decline the mortality rate, reduce hospital readmissions, decrease the chances of exploratory surgery, and cut down hospital stays.
With hundreds and thousands of medical imaging performed throughout the industry every year, the real challenge is managing the image volume. The numbers reveal the overload. All these are making the work-life of radiologists difficult.
The only effective way to cope with the upsurge in medical imaging demands is medical imaging software with advanced informatics. Through informatics in medical imaging, image transfers and management will improve drastically. While the industry has to deal with imaging growth, integrating information in medical imaging will help them tackle cost containment, quality of patient care, and data security.
2. Manage the growing pains
While there is an upsurge in imaging demands, the healthcare industry is also experiencing an increase in the consolidation of healthcare facility groups to ensure better care management. With the high cost, aging population, and other care requirements, industry leaders feel that consolidating different care groups like physicians, radiology, and more is beneficial.
A recent study revealed that radiology groups are growing, and the industry has seen a nearly 30% increase in these groups with 65+ physicians included. Well, the numbers made it clear that mergers happening between radiology, hospitals, and independent physicians are at a relatively large scale. And this will benefit patients, as they will receive care on a larger scale at affordable costs. Perhaps, in such cases, informatics in healthcare can make the efforts fruitful. These health groups can effectively manage data and inform patients about care delivery through advanced health informatics technology. That means patients will benefit not only from quality care but also from transparent communication.
3. Manage unexpected side effects
The consolidation of hospitals, radiologists, physicians, and other healthcare players is expected to benefit greatly. Perhaps, some unexpected side effects can impact the quality of care. These side effects are the decentralization of resources and expertise, higher costs due to too many vendors, lack of standardized processes, and complex, ad hoc workflows.
Besides, these challenges mainly affect radiologists by making their work burdensome. In simple words, when X-ray records are in one system and mammograms are in the other, there’s no link; this results in extra effort, time and burnout.
Interestingly, these issues can be handled if there’s interoperability between these systems or a centralized system. Leveraging medical imaging solutions with advanced informatics can ensure a seamless exchange of information between systems. Patients will also have complete knowledge about the imaging exams and treatments. And radiologists will save time and feel less worn out due to the administrative complexities.
Benefits of Medical Imaging Informatics:
- Intelligent imaging analytics to offer better diagnostics
- Cloud-based platform to transform the traditional model of medical imaging
- Deep learning for medical image examination and speedier diagnosis
- Reconstruction of regular images into 3D imaging for higher accuracy
- Superior level of patient imaging, eradicating the possibility of a misdiagnosis
- Improved overall image quality, thereby reducing non-profitable repeat scans
- Combined image analysis and big data analysis to create whole slide images
- Microscopic analysis that is infused with superior level analogies
- Radiologists receive automated suggestions based on past data and consequent diagnosis
- Summative pointers of related cases for intelligent analysis
- At-risk patient identification for the adoption of preventive measures
- Significant reduction of false-positive through minimal errors
Future of Medical Imaging Informatics
Medical imaging informatics is rapidly developing. Whether medical image processing or image analysis software, technology is enhancing the radiology industry. The next few years are expected to see some notable advancements too. Here are our predicted trends in medical imaging.
1. Structured and Automated Reporting
Structured reporting is a much-needed aspect of imaging informatics. As structured reporting ensures concise and standardized reports, it’s also useful in performance tracking. Earlier, transcriptionists were required in radiology, but with automated structured reporting, their requirement is obsolete. Besides, speech recognition, CAD, and high-end accuracy are also some major advancements expected in medical imaging solutions. Moreover, imaging informatics will also ensure that patients can easily access their imaging test results and get complete knowledge about them.
2. AI in Radiology
Artificial Intelligence is leaving no stone unturned, especially in improving healthcare. In medical image processing, leveraging AI technology can completely transform the results. It can easily replace the precise methods of image segmentation and feature recognition. But AI algorithms can do this in just minutes. It can segment and identify large datasets of images. Today, radiologists feel AI will improve medical imaging by enhancing productivity, ensuring diagnostic accuracy, reducing imaging timings, and minimizing radiation dose. So, AI in medical imaging informatics can prove highly effective for radiologists and healthcare facilities.
There is no doubt that imaging information systems are loaded with automation benefits for radiologists and health clinics. Keeping in tune with value-based care, these solutions are designed to automate and optimize medical imaging analysis of X-rays, ultrasounds, mammography, CT scans, and MRIs. The informatics system will serve as a reliable bridge between healthcare professionals and healthcare data to bring out the best.
The use of healthcare data is significantly enhanced through the informatics process with a secure transmission network. Adopting medical imaging automation techniques will allow healthcare organizations to gain a significant competitive advantage toward value-based care and higher patient engagement.
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Written by Riken Shah linkedin
Riken's work motto is to help healthcare providers use technological advancements to make healthcare easily accessible to all stakeholders, from providers to patients. Under his leadership and guidance, OSP Labs has successfully developed over 600 customized software solutions for 200+ healthcare clients across continents.