Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Telstra Health May Be On A Serious Winner With This Service. Looks Pretty Useful To Me.

This appeared last week:

Telstra Health’s unique new ‘radiology storage and viewing service’

Telstra Health has announced it has ‘implemented a vendor neutral image and data management service that provides radiologists with the ability to view x-rays, MRIs and other radiology studies, regardless of location or the system used to capture the image.’
The company says its new service ‘bundles vendor neutral archiving capability with a curated storage solution and Telstra’s best of breed [data] network.’
This combination of software and the Telstra IP network allows very large studies to be rapidly fetched from the archive by any site in the network, reducing idle time and improving efficiency.
Telstra says that the sharing ability of the solution ‘can deliver multiple benefits, including improved efficiency and reduced costs by avoiding unnecessary duplicate imaging and lost time while waiting for images to load.’
‘It also means second reviews can be conducted or reports archived without concern as to what system was used to capture the image. This solution lends itself to radiology providers who outsource their reporting services to teleradiology organisations.’
Michael Boyce, Telstra Health’s Head of Provider Applications, said: “that the solution demonstrates in the real world how a better connected health system can benefit patients and providers.”
“The image and data management service means more convenient access to images and reports and reduced time taken for a diagnosis to be delivered to patients. For radiologists and the business it means more efficient use of skills and resources, allowing images to be automatically routed to the most appropriate radiologist available depending on the type of image or skill set required.
“When a patient sets an appointment the service can pre-fetch prior studies of that person, making the patient’s history available at the radiologist’s fingertips,” continued Boyce.
More here:
If, at the end of the day, the service can allow people to avoid carting all those folders of x-rays etc. to all the different clinicians who have an interest it has to be a winner.
Even better, if the radiology and image providers, are able to store all your images in the cloud it will be both cheaper and more efficient - avoiding the use of all those films and silver in the first place.
The challenge will be to figure out how just such a service will fit into the e-Health ecosystem and where the rather laughable efforts to manage images in the PCEHR are actually heading and if they will ever be useful.

I note GE have similar plans in the US for the cloud in the US - so it seems it might be a good idea?
 
David.

7 comments:

john scott said...

Telstra has indeed demonstrated SOME of the value of a connected health system.

On the positive side:
1. Vendor neutral opens the door to value-add by third parties through improved feature detection and analysis, including analysis over time;
2. possible quarantining of personal health information in Australia as part of a more robust privacy solution; and,
3. the solution is potentially 'blind' to public/private, jurisdicational and professional constraints on information flows.

The term 'business ecosystem' puts the finger on one of the core digital health challenges. The development of a strategic E-Health Framework and collaboration mechanism to connect the two spheres (the human physical sphere of healthcare and the electronic sphere) in a manner that enables and supports the development of a business ecosystem for a knowledge-based digital health system.

Technology service providers will struggle to monetize investments, such as the Telstra service, so long as we remain focused on stored health data as opposed to focused on the value inherent in qualitatively improved information flows.

Anonymous said...

If, at the end of the day, the service can allow people to avoid carting all those folders of x-rays etc. .....

David, for the last few years three different Imaging groups have given me a CD to take with me to give to my GP, my Urologist and my Orthopeadic surgeon. Very convenient. Surely films have long gone and more importantly I thought the radiology space stopped using silver on wet films many years ago. Perhaps your knowledge is more current than mine.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

John Scott said:
"Technology service providers will struggle to monetize investments, such as the Telstra service, so long as we remain focused on stored health data as opposed to focused on the value inherent in qualitatively improved information flows."

Yes. The value lies in better decision making based upon quality information.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

"Perhaps your knowledge is more current than mine."

Well, I agree CDs are good, but as recently as last week my better half was carrying a huge film envelope around among the various docs. Film still seems to be around for many!

Of course - many specialists still seem a little short of the gear to read many CDs.

Hopefully it will be all standardised soon!

David.

Anonymous said...

Almost all radiologists would have their own PACS (Picture Archiving and communication System) and many make it available over the internet to view films and put links into the report. They are often using remote reporting for AH or remote xrays

This sounds like an attempt for them to outsource this to telstra, which is something they may be reluctant to do. Having a system that stores references to PACS images for a specific patient across multiple PACS might be a better solution than the big monopoly central repository. But it is Telstra and the always give good service and cheap rates don't they?

Anonymous said...

Yes, almost all practices (public & private) of any size have their own PACS. Telstra may be hoping to (a) pick up those stragglers who don't; (b) offer their VNA as a back-up service to a practice's existing PACS; or (c) persuade people that Telstra can run the whole archiving side more cheaply than they can. The concept is not new internationally, there are any number of image VNA vendors in the US and elsewhere. Telstra for the moment may have the advantage of being able to say that their cloud is Ausralian-based, but the TPP, if ratified, may nullify that.
The Telstra 'solution' does nothing to solve the problem of getting hold of previous images generated by another provider.
As for films - radiology practices would love to get rid of them, and most largely have - the main reason some films are still around is that some specialists refuse to accept CDs.
CDs do have their problems (relatively slow to load, comparison with priors difficult, multiple different viewers), some of which can be ameliorated, but web access is the obvious way to go, subject to (i) adequate bandwidth, (ii) encryption and secure messaging, and (iii) some way of working out where a particular exam for a particular patient is being kept - a registry based on IHE profiles would be key (a central repository is not necessarily required). There are large-scale versions of such arrangements overseas. Unfortunately the powers that be here are more interested in trying to put exotic CDA documents into the PCeHR.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

"a central repository is not necessarily required"

In the context of health information systems, central repositories are a bad, very bad idea. They introduce problems associated with access, access control, security, ownership, privacy, relationships with data held in other repositories, etc, etc.

re: "The Telstra 'solution' does nothing to solve the problem of getting hold of previous images generated by another provider."

This is a specific instance of the larger health information problem. Getting at the all the right information (which means not getting irrelevant as well as getting relevant information).

If Telstra is to make a go of its push into health, it will need to address this issue.

In fact, this issue should be at the heart of the new paradigm that's been alluded to in this blog.