GE Healthcare is bringing to market a global vision of eHealth that encompasses solutions and services enabling the exchange, sharing, workflow and distribution of images and clinical information across multiple hospitals, regions or nations. The goal is to connect patients, physicians, care providers, payers, GP offices, pharmacies, laboratories and others.

At Arab Health 2010 GE Healthcare showcased its Centricity Portal, an eHealth solution to fundamentally enable multi-site workflows in radiology. This solution can retrieve historical patient data from different systems, such as hospital information system (HIS), radiology information system/picture archiving and communication system (RIS/PACS). Radiologists can diagnose and report independently from location, time and institution. The technology is based on the international Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) profile cross enterprise document sharing (XDS) and uses DICOM and HL7 standards. Centricity Portal is easy to install, scalable, Web-based and allows complex workflows and access rights in cross-hospital and regional clinical data and image exchange projects to be managed effectively.

“By facilitating access to complete patient data across multiple locations and systems, our eHealth solutions provide a step further towards evidence-based medicine, which will allow for enhanced quality of care, improved productivity and a reduction of costs and medical errors,” said Bernard Algayres, general manager eHealth for Europe, Middle East and Africa at GE Healthcare IT.

In order to further promote the exchange of clinical expertise beyond imaging solutions, GE Healthcare is delivering global solutions in partnership with eHealth technology provider ICW, headquartered in Germany. This collaboration drives the exchange of data among a large variety of legacy clinical systems, including imaging products: HIS, RIS, PACS, electronic medical record (EMR), laboratories, pharmacies and other devices, like care and disease management products, involved in diagnostic or patient monitoring. Based on consolidated health records in a global repository, clinical data can be Web-accessed by either physicians or patients, under strict security and privacy mechanisms.

Continuous innovation in imaging solutions

GE Healthcare is actively driving its imaging solutions portfolio to the next level. At Arab Health the company presented the latest digital solutions for radiology, mammography and cardiology that meet the challenges in modern healthcare environments.

“Centricity RIS/PACS is our powerful Web-based technology to connect radiologists, clinicians and referring physicians with ultra-fast streaming, advanced post-processing and business intelligence tools,” said Juergen Reyinger, vice president and general manager at GE Healthcare IT for Europe, Middle East and Africa. With its open standards-based architecture and portable Centricity Portal, it enables users to access the capabilities they need regardless of time, location or institution.

“Our latest release of Centricity PACS supports more than 900 customer sites around the globe and offers information at their fingertips: patient data, clinical documents and images, streamlined workflows and improved communication among healthcare experts,” Reyinger emphasized. The Centricity portfolio promotes cost-effective regional image exchange projects, increases and accelerates access to vital patient information, and helps experts to take fast diagnoses.

GE Healthcare’s long lasting experience in medical devices and IT has led to a series of new technologies, driving the commitment to interoperability further. At this year’s Arab Health, visitors were able to learn more about a remote viewing, image sharing and advanced postprocessing done on a Web-based server. Office PCs virtually turn into a multi-modality 2D, 3D and 4D postprocessing workstation. The efficient combination of AW-Server with Centricity RIS/PACS promotes extensive reporting capabilities, streamlined radiology workflows, and a smooth collaboration between internal clinicians and referring physicians.

Technological breakthrough in intensive care

In no other care area do patients need such a dedicated surveillance, care and treatment than in intensive care units (ICUs). Only one delayed information or one error can make a big difference to patient outcome.

GE Healthcare’s new solution for information management in ICU departments, the Centricity Clinical Notification System (CNS), was displayed at Arab Health. CNS notifies the clinicians whenever a programmed event occurs. CNS allows the definition of conditions based on any combination of relevant patient data, e.g. from the different connected devices. The conditions of notifications can be related to clinical events, protocols or data completeness, e.g. if a patient’s blood hemoglobin level is out of the user’s set goal, a laboratory result is available, pending or missing, or if compliance guidelines are not adhered to.

“The purpose of this technological breakthrough is to help clinicians when evaluating the patient’s health condition by automatically searching available data from the Centricity database. CNS then compares the results to user-defined rules and identifies potentially relevant clinical events by bringing them to the user’s attention,” said Nicolai Mokros, general manager at GE Healthcare IT for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Accordingly, ICU staff can check the clinical significance of the notification and follow up on eventually required actions before the situation becomes critical for the patient.