If you are trying to build software to improve digital imaging for hospitals – stop
For reasons that I’d rather not ever remember, I’ve spent the last seven days sitting in the neo-natal ICU of Women’s College Hospital. They use IMPAX, a Picture Archiving and Communications System sold by AGFA. I’ve looked at a dozen different frontal and lateral xrays over the week, and I can tell you that what the world doesn’t need is a new PACS to replace this one.
Ever now and again, a start-up company will pitch us on a new and improved way to shoot and share xrays within the hospital environment. Having now seen the functionality and clarity of IMPAX, they need not bother trying to improve on this generation.
What they should be doing, perhaps, is working on software that allows Mount Sinai, WCH and The Hospital for Sick Children to actually share the data collected at the other’s site and imaging system. As I’ve learned, a series of WCM IMPAX images can’t just be emailed over to Sick Kids for the specialist there to review. At times, the neonatologist at WCM ICU actually has to walk over with a disc and put it into one of the few IMPAX machines that Sick Kids has on site, and then get the specialist to view it at the station location in question.
Privacy gets mentioned as a barrier to sending the data over the internet, but that sounds like an excuse to me. Doctors email their views on patient referrals to other doctors using text platforms; if privacy was a concern, that sensible, modern day info sharing technique wouldn’t be possible.
Two things come to mind:
– if Sick Kids is the surgical wing of Mount Sinai and WCM (among others), perhaps they should work with the same imaging platform?
– and if that horse has left the barn, would someone please write some software to solve the problem in the meantime? They’ll probably pay a decent licence and service fee, and there are likely hundreds of repeat sales available to you across North America. Get your first couple of recurring sales, and we’ll probably be happy to finance you from there.