Charlie Hicks
General Manager,
Imaging Systems, Carestream Health

Reducing The Size Of Imaging Technology – An Important Need Of The Radiology Industry

On major trends in the radiology industry with respect to introduction of new technologies, solutions, and market demands

Reducing the size of imaging technology is an important goal for imaging providers across the globe. In most setups, smaller rooms are given to the radiology department while more space is allocated to CT or MRI, so we have to find a way to have our equipment run in a smaller environment. Today installing X-ray rooms requires structural upgrades that include building up the ceiling and creating a support structure for heavy components that support room-based imaging systems. Keeping this in mind you will see in the products from Carestream that we have significantly reduced the size and weight of the product and the service requirements for each of them. We are also investing in portable imaging systems that are easier to maneuver and allow technologists to achieve better positioning and capture high-quality images of seriously ill or injured patients.

Another aspect to consider is around artificial intelligence (AI). Targeted algorithms would allow radiologists to identify the areas that might have been missed. Since radiologists go through hundreds of exams each day, they may miss some revealing and vital indicators. AI solutions could prompt them to take a second look, making it easier for healthcare providers to diagnose or identify a better treatment plan.

Automation in imaging is also becoming more important as baby boomers age and the demand for medical imaging continues to increase. Automation can help imaging staff keep pace with rising imaging volumes while addressing the continued pressure for facilities to reduce costs. Software such as the Image acquisition software that reduces clicks or makes it easier for the technologist to position patients, helps to shorten the exam time and allows for increased patient throughput. Automation can come in the form of hardware improvements, such as equipment auto-positioning or streamlining the software for faster exam workflow.

On identifing and addressing the evolving needs of the Carestream customers

We pride ourselves in having a very detailed voice of customers (VoC) process. This has allowed us to take a look at the customer’s workflow and pain points and identify new ways of doing things innovatively better.

We were the first to introduce a wireless cassette detector, the DRX-1 System, which no one had thought about previously. We were also the first to innovate a collapsible column mobile X-ray system, the DRX Revolution. We have recently released our OnSight 3D Extremity System which is going to be the first system in the market that allows you to do weight- bearing CT exams. If you think about a patient’s knees, ankle, or foot in a laying down position on a CT, there is no pressure on those joints. In order to really see why the person is in pain you have to put weight on them, to allow the joints to move to the position(s) they would naturally be in when walking or standing; with this, you can actually see where the areas of discomfort are and take the proper corrective action.

We spend a lot of time in different regions across the world, at various trade shows, and interacting with customers. Just recently, we had 40 technicians coming into Rochester where we were trying to show them a new idea we had. We are always listening to them, trying to figure out what their pain points are and how we could solve it differently.

On the technology front that Carestream is going to introduce in 2018

We recently unveiled our DRX-Revolution Nano mobile X-ray system, which is more a confirmation of our expertise, in helping providers enhance collaborative care, control costs, and maximize their investments. This fully integrated portable X-ray system offers a compact design, small footprint, and uses carbon nanotube technology to deliver a lighter weight, non-motorized system that is easy to transport and position in cramped critical care areas.

In addition we will also be rolling out our new software platform ImageView across all our modalities. The new platform will provide a common user experience and provide increased CyberSecurity enhancements critical to securing patient data and prohibiting cyber-attacks. We will begin rolling out our software at the end of 2018 on our DRX Revolution and DRX Revolution Nano; our other modalities will then follow.

We also are seeing a lot of interest in our new OnSight 3D Extremity System that provides weight-bearing 3D images for upper and lower extremities. Orthopedic specialists around the world are adopting the OnSight 3D Extremity System because it offers high-quality, lower-dose 3D imaging and delivers greater convenience for physicians and their patients. The system is used by private orthopedic practices, hospital radiology departments, and emergency rooms as well as medical imaging centers. This compact Extremity System can be installed into very small rooms and plugs into a standard wall outlet.

On Carestream aligning on the latest FDA requirement of cyber security

Carestream Health remains committed to ensuring our products are safe, reliable, and secure. The cybersecurity threat environment continuously evolves requiring constant diligence and information sharing in order to mitigate potential risk and to keep equipment protected.

Over the last year, we have hired multiple cyber security experts who have extensive experience working with the department of defense in the United States of America. The rapid adoption of electronic medical records and demand for greater access to patient services requires the highest data protection standard. Ensuring patient privacy and trust is critical, Carestream delivers product security that helps our customers to achieve compliance with HIPAA, PIPEDA, EU directive, or additional regulations in your country.

On significance of the Indian healthcare market for Carestream

The Indian healthcare market is extremely important to Carestream. If we look at the revenue and the opportunities generated from the worldwide markets – India is our third largest country or region with the United States of America and China being at the top two. India has one of the largest healthcare sectors with 1.2 billion people and there are a lot of initiatives here to help that sector – like the public partnership programs and the new healthcare insurance where healthcare credit is given directly to individuals.

All this opens up a tremendous amount of access for patients. As you start to open up that access, the number of doctors, facilities, and equipment will have to increase. We have the best portfolio of radiology equipment to serve the market. We go from the very simple, value, and cost-effective systems all the way to the very complex, fully-automatic, and feature rich systems. From a small clinic setup to high-end clinics and public hospitals, Carestream has the solution for all. That is why we are very interested to see how the Indian market shapes up and how it continues to grow. Exceeding our customers’ expectation in the markets we serve, is our highest priority.

On piece of advice to Indian customers

Choose a supplier that you can trust and that will be a true partner for your organization.

Our people are passionately committed to doing whatever it takes to help our customers be successful. Our products are easy to use, highly reliable, and enable our customers to improve the quality and value of their products and services.

In today’s rapidly changing environment–where the mandate to provide better outcomes has never been greater–we add value by delivering personalized, affordable and practical options to help our customers advance.

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