Is Innovation the Path to Better Cheaper Enterprise Medical Imaging?

2013-11-14
 

Enterprise Medical Imaging Needs Innovation

The enterprise medical imaging field is in need of “coopitition.” In need of what? Coopitition (or coopetition)  – a mixture of cooperation and competition. This word was used by Bradley J. Erickson, MD, PhD, department of radiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who charted out a course for moving enterprise medical imaging innovation into clinical practice during the opening general session of the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine’s (SIIM) annual meeting, as reported in HealthImaging.

Though PACS innovation and translational research are fundamentally competitive, organizations can create an atmosphere that supports “coopitition,” Erickson maintains. Supporting synergy starts with understanding the nature of innovation and translational research and creating an enterprise medical imaging environment conducive to both.

Innovation Breaks the Rules

Erickson observed that innovation entails a complex and fundamentally disruptive life cycle characterized by breaking the rules, whereas translational research applies lab-proven processes to the clinic.

Innovation, he explained, is risky. It can disrupt, and, possibly, destroy a business. To help the audience understand the risks, Erickson detailed the four P’s of innovation:

  1. Principle. Contrary to conventional wisdom, innovation does not originate with a single “Eureka” moment. Typically, the main idea takes months or years to develop and represents the collision of many ideas or concepts from many people.
  2. Prototyping. Each execution of the idea has to capture the key idea but not necessarily reflect a perfect replica of the final product. Prototyping is essential for clarifying information requirements. Critical at this stage, is enticing test users to verbalize what they did and did not like about the product, then listening to their feedback.
  3. Production. This stage may entail some loss of control for the innovator, who often may not have the business acumen required to finalize the translation from concept to market. An expert can help confirm the idea, create the business plan and launch the product.
  4. People. The most important component is people, who must recognize that innovation is a challenge that demands disrupting the plans and products of others.

Innovation requires a culture that incubates cross-pollination and risk, he added.

PACS Innovation

Erickson explored innovation in PACS terms, contending that most PACS and RIS are not fundamentally different from the systems of 10 years ago.

“Innovation is not about saying yes to everything. It is about saying no to all but the most crucial ideas. We need to rethink how PACS is done and how to simplify so it works better. It may be cheaper to build a better PACS,” he said.

At McKesson we value teamwork, innovation, honesty and leadership. We want you to be able to leverage and choose whichever workflow makes sense for radiology, cardiology and the other ‘ology departments at your organization, so we’ve built a storage platform that has scalable, open architecture with off-the-shelf hardware.

How has innovation improved your enterprise medical imaging system? Learn more during RSNA at Booth # 7358.

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