Carestream - Medical Imaging Solutions/Service Company

Carestream: Image Enabling Health Information

 Kevin Hobert, CEO, Carestream As researchers and physicians assembled from the world over at the Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh for the 2017 Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) conference, the venue resembled a mini powerhouse filled with the latest buzz in medical imaging. The spotlight, however, was on Carestream that stole the show with their new imaging analytics tool—a true demonstration of next-generation medical imaging. Carestream's latest addition in their Clinical Collaboration Platform applies artificial intelligence and advanced machine vision algorithms to radiographic images that help identify distinct patterns and foster early diagnosis. Among other functionalities, the tool can calculate bone density by applying an algorithm to any CT image to assess a patient’s risk of fracture. No doubt, Carestream's rich history spread across 100 years plays an eminent role in the company's strong market position. With 800 patents in medical imaging and operations in over 170 countries, today, the company is a front-runner in imaging systems and healthcare information technology solutions. “We have a strong business and a bright future. With an employee base passionate about delivering high-quality solutions to our customers and a portfolio of market-leading products, we are poised to continue to innovate,” says Kevin Hobert, CEO, Carestream. The company’s product offering includes radiography, ultrasound, and X-Ray systems and software solutions delivered through their Clinical Collaboration Platform.

Dictating Patient Welfare

Carestream's Clinical Collaboration Platform is a unique, modular, standards-based enterprise imaging solution that enables sharing of clinical data, workflows, and reports across multiple departments, sites, and networks. The platform can function as a standalone solution or easily integrate with a client's existing electronic medical or health record. To develop productive relations between patients and physicians, the platform includes Carestream Vue modules that provide intelligent ingestion, archiving, and management of clinical data and offers support to every department’s workflow needs. Eliminating knowledge gaps and disjointed workflows, the platform first indexes raw metadata into structured meaningful clinical content and manages patient-centered workflows by synchronizing databases across different departments and vendors. In addition, for effective business continuity, clustered server configurations or federated archives deliver maximum availability to enable an “always-on” complete view of clinical data.

We have a strong business and a bright future. With an employee base passionate about delivering high-quality solutions to our customers and a portfolio of market-leading products, we are poised to continue to innovate

Vue also includes an intuitive MyVue portal for patients to access their own clinical data, and for payers to analyze data for accurate reimbursement. The portal is easily accessible from any web-enabled device including mobile tablets and smartphones and can easily be embedded into an electronic medical or health record system.

Carestream’s thorough expertise in clinical data management was brought to light when Houston Medical Imaging (HMI) used the MyVue portal to upgrade their services. Before MyVue was installed, patients who wanted copies of their diagnostic reports had to wait to for it to be delivered. This was not only inconvenient for patients traveling from hundreds of miles away but sometimes there was a delay in report generation in case the office staff had other duties. In the first three months that MyVue was implemented, more than half of the patients signed up for it and actively used their account to procure information. Soon the medical center realized that they were saving tens of thousands of dollars in maintenance as the cost of operating MyVue is extremely low and does not require dedicated application training.

With a strong foothold in the healthcare industry for the past decade, Carestream also provides state-of-the-art medical equipment such as radiography systems and ultrasound machines. The company's flexible digital radiography systems solve workflow, budget, and space challenges while reducing clinical procedure times. While the concept of a digital radiography (DR) detector is not alien in X-ray imaging, a significant challenge with the traditional DR system is that it can be tied to only one equipment. Carestream is setting new parameters in efficiency and reliability in imaging by introducing their sharable DRX equipment which is a portable, wireless, cassette-sized detector. It’s based on a powerful, single-detector platform that works seamlessly across Carestream’s entire line of solutions. In addition, keeping in mind the needs of small-to-midsize hospitals, the company offers DRX-Revolution which is a mobile X-ray system. Termed as the X-ray room on wheels, the system is easy to maneuver around intensive care units (ICU) or emergency rooms (ER).

In a case in point, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, N.Y was able to deliver exceptional patient care with Carestream's CR and DRX systems.

The client retrofitted three of their existing portable imaging systems with DRX detectors which created quick access to high-quality images. In an instance when a premature baby was born in the health center, the medical practitioners were unable to detect the reason behind sudden complications in the baby's condition. The staff took a chest image using a portable X-ray system that had been retrofitted with a Carestream DRX Detector. Moments later, physicians looked at the image and realized that one of the baby’s lungs had collapsed. Because of early detection, the medical staff could take a timely action, preventing a mishap. Before Carestream stepped in with their solutions, the department conducted 105,000 exams with 165 employees, but now it performs 154,000 exams a year with 130 employees. To top it all, the reduced need for imaging equipment created a capital savings of almost $500,000 for the health center.

Next Generation Care System

Always striving to enhance the value of their imaging solutions, Carestream introduced a new carbon nanotube technology with ergonomic advantages. This latest addition is significantly smaller in size and weight as compared to its existing mobile X-ray systems. The system is designed to include advanced lithium iron phosphate battery that contributes to a longer shelf life and comes in a sleek design with enhanced visibility in medical imaging. In response to customer feedback, Carestream is continuously expanding its detector portfolio with small and large-format detectors, as well as newer families of DRX Plus and DRX Core detectors that can meet the needs of healthcare facilities of all sizes.

With operations world over, Carestream places customer satisfaction as well as employee well-being as their top priority. To help users protect their Carestream equipment and optimize performance, Carestream offers a service plan that can be customized to individual requirements, and seamless care is provided for products even post-warranty. The service comprises a complete portfolio which covers regularly scheduled preventative maintenance, on-site and remote support, accident protection for a detector, or access to a global team of experts through a single point of contact.

As more and more healthcare organizations expect value over volume from their medical imaging systems, the day is not far when medical imaging will truly become paperless and filmless. Organizations today, no longer have the time to scramble through mounds of paper or film records stored in filing cabinets and expect improved access to care and more integrated care. With the trend toward the digital exchange of information, what global and emerging healthcare companies need is access to digital imaging through low-cost solutions. According to a study by Research and Markets, with the market for medical imaging systems expected to grow from $30 billion in 2014 to $49 billion in 2020, a large part of Carestream's future endeavors will be to lead customers away from paper and film to an all-digital workflow.

- Eileen Singh
    October 05, 2017