At the European Society of Radiology Congress (ECR), GE Healthcare presented its global vision of imaging and data exchange that encompasses solutions and services enabling you to report workflow, and distribute images and clinical information, across multiple hospitals or regions. Imaging and data exchange solutions are aiming to connect all healthcare providers while placing the patient at the centre of all services.

One fully integrated centricity RIS/PACS workstation
GE Healthcare’s Centricity RIS/PACS web-based technology is the first step for radiologists to immerse themselves in the wave of activities around imaging exchange. In the past, RIS/PACS was primarily considered a technology just for radiologists. Today, the solution is a starting point for a hospital’s full implementation of a truly paperless and filmless environment inside and outside the radiology department.

Professor Dr Gerhard Mostbeck, leader of the Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at Wilhelminenspital in Vienna, spoke about how RIS/PACS has made a decisive difference in his facility. “When looking for a RIS/PACS system, we aimed to choose a powerful, combined solution from a single vendor,” he said. “There is no doubt that an integrated solution helps us achieve a stronger workflow optimisation process than a standalone RIS and a standalone PACS system would. It simply helps us avoid interface issues and significantly improves the output of a radiology institute.”

Clinical specialists in fields ranging from orthopedics to pneumology at Wilhelminenspital and elsewhere need to have options for quick review of patient images. “Thanks to centricity RIS/PACS, our clinicians have this capability without even standing up from their chairs,” Mostbeck emphasised, adding that cooperation among healthcare experts inside and outside the radiology department, including off-campus users, is becoming a game-changing reality. “Our telemedicine network allows external partners to access the same data and advanced post-processing tools, as we have at Wilhelminenspital. Together, we are offering excellent patient care by avoiding double consultations, examinations and ensuring low radiation doses. All this happens in a secure environment that meets legal data safety and security requirements in telemedicine,” concluded Mostbeck.

Upgrading and replacing first-generation PACS solutions

All over Europe, healthcare institutions are currently looking to upgrade or replace their first-generation PACS solutions. “Most users’ PACS may have met their needs when originally purchased, but in today’s competitive environment, it is likely falling short of expectations,” emphasised Juergen Reyinger, vice president and general manager of GE Healthcare IT for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “It was a pleasure to us, demonstrating to the visitors at ECR how we can help them upgrade their existing PACS to the new internet-based technology without the costly and time-consuming requirement that comes with investing in a completely new IT solution.”

State-of-the-art embedded and advanced post-processing
GE Healthcare has unveiled a unified solution that spans numerous imaging modalities, uniting departmental needs, as in cardiology or mammography, with clinical abilities. Advantage Workstation (AW) suite has transformed from a standalone workstation into an integrated, Linux-based, advanced and multi-modality PACS post-processing platform: the centricity AW server.

At this year’s ECR, visitors were able to see AW server’s multi-modality remote viewing, image sharing and advanced postprocessing capabilities. The solution turns standard PCs into a multi-modality 2D, 3D and 4D post-processing station available anytime, anywhere. 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. The user’s desktop doesn’t require advanced processing power, additional software or onerous clicks to query images, nor will it require significant bandwidth. All of the sophisticated image reconstruction is provided by the remote server technology.

Global reporting worklist and imaging exchange across healthcare institutes

GE Healthcare will also showcase its enterprise viewer, centricity portal, a solution to enable multi-institute and multi-vendor cross-reporting radiology workflow. Current and prior exams are streamed, not moved, from different local RIS and PACS systems and displayed in the portal with full image management tools for diagnostic and clinical viewing. Radiologists can diagnose and report independently from location, time and institution. The technology is based on the international integrating the healthcare enterprise (IHE) XDS profile (cross enterprise document sharing), while also leveraging DICOM and HL7 standards.

Centricity portal is easy to install, scalable, internet-based and allows organisations to manage complex workflows and access rights in cross-hospital and regional imaging and clinical data exchange initiatives.

In addition to the above, the recently launched centricity enterprise archive (EA 4.0) simplifies the archiving of ‘multi-ology’ images, results and related information, delivering a universal repository. This unified, standards-based architecture, combined with support for XDS/XDSi and an intuitive, internet-based viewer, helps enable healthcare organisations to realise their vision for enterprise imaging. Consolidating data from different departments into a single reliable system eliminates islands of information, reduces IT overhead, and facilitates compliance with retention and disaster recovery requirements. As the architecture is fully redundant, load balanced and virtualised, it allows highly scalable solutions from single-enterprise hospitals up to regional datacenters.

Juergen Reyinger concluded, “By facilitating access to complete patient imaging and clinical data across multiple locations and systems, our 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.”