How’s the RSNA Conference Going for Mach7? Hot Topics in Conversations with Visitors to Your Booth? (6344!)

(7 Questions For Eric Rice, CTO, About Mach7’s Innovative Imaging Workflow Platform (RSNA Booth #6344))

Great crowd!

How’s the RSNA conference going for you? What are the hot topics in conversations with visitors to your booth?

Eric Rice, Mach7 CTO:

The conference has been great. Booth traffic has already exceeded what we saw last year and there is a lot of excitement out there about our “Build Your Own” approach and the universal building blocks that create an enterprise imaging strategy. We have several customers here who are talking with healthcare teams about image management challenges and how to address some of the shortfalls or limitations of departmental PACS. We’re finding that health IT teams really want a consultative approach to their imaging challenges. No “one size fits all.” We’re able to help folks plan a course of action to augment or replace their current image archiving systems and move to a universal, VNA-based solution. We’re busy over here. We hope people interested in a VNA solution or those just looking to enhance their workflows and resolve challenges they didn’t know were possible, will stop by the Mach7 booth (#6344) and let us show them why our enterprise imaging platform is different…and is a key piece of the puzzle for their imaging strategy in 2015.

Chuck: Fantastic! Eric, thank you for answering my questions about Mach7’s workflow technology. I’m a fan of workflow tech, because it is much easier to customize and optimize workflow. Radiology imaging systems are further down the road than other areas of health IT, in use of this important tech. Thanks again, for being a role model in this respect. I wish you continued success. Have a great rest of RSNA’14!

  1. What Is Mach7’s Communication Workflow Engine And How Does It improve Clinical Workflow Efficiency?
  2. Mach7 Has “Industry’s Most Robust and Technologically Advanced Vendor Neutral Platform” What Do You Mean?
  3. How Does Mach7 Leverage Workflows Optimized By Clinical Specialty And “Next Step” Care Protocols?
  4. How Can Mach7 Imaging Tech Help Create Ubiquitous, Seamless Patient Data Interoperability?
  5. Images are the original health IT unstructured data. How does Mach7 release their value?
  6. Mach7’s Image Translation & Transformation Capabilities? Schedule and Criteria-Based Workflows? Study, Series, and Image Level Processing?
  7. How’s the RSNA Conference Going for Mach7? Hot Topics in Conversations with Visitors to Your Booth? (6344!)
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7 Questions For Eric Rice, CTO, About Mach7’s Innovative Imaging Workflow Platform (RSNA Booth #6344)

I continually search health IT company with innovative workflow-related products, services, education and marketing. Then I tweet about them. And sometimes I write about them. Why? To encourage workflow thinking and tech in health IT. Anyway, this last February, and HIMSS’14, I stumbled across Mach7 Technologies (@Mach7Tech on Twitter) and their Communication Workflow Engine. Mach7 Technologies mentions “workflow” over a hundred times on their website! Of course I tweeted about it!

Since then I’ve had an opportunity to learn more about how Mach7 is bringing the kind of process-aware tech I advocate to healthcare. And to ask the following in-the-weeds questions.

Geek-On!

(Every hour during RSNA’14 I’ll update another question and answer, and tweet it on the #RSNA14 hashtag!)

  1. What Is Mach7’s Communication Workflow Engine And How Does It improve Clinical Workflow Efficiency?
  2. Mach7 Has “Industry’s Most Robust and Technologically Advanced Vendor Neutral Platform” What Do You Mean?
  3. How Does Mach7 Leverage Workflows Optimized By Clinical Specialty And “Next Step” Care Protocols?
  4. How Can Mach7 Imaging Tech Help Create Ubiquitous, Seamless Patient Data Interoperability?
  5. Images are the original health IT unstructured data. How does Mach7 release their value?
  6. Mach7’s Image Translation & Transformation Capabilities? Schedule and Criteria-Based Workflows? Study, Series, and Image Level Processing?
  7. How’s the RSNA Conference Going for Mach7? Hot Topics in Conversations with Visitors to Your Booth? (6344!)
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What Is Mach7’s Communication Workflow Engine And How Does It improve Clinical Workflow Efficiency?

(7 Questions For Eric Rice, CTO, About Mach7’s Innovative Imaging Workflow Platform (RSNA Booth #6344))

Radiology imaging systems have some of the most sophisticated workflow engines in all of health IT. And Mach7 has one of the most sophisticated workflow engines in radiological imaging. Take a look at this cool Legos-based marketecture!

unnamed-3

Eric, what is a Communication Workflow Engine and how can it improve clinical workflow efficiency?

Eric Rice, Mach7 CTO:

Mach7’s Communication Workflow Engine is a flexible, fast, scalable imaging workflow engine that dramatically improves medical imaging workflow based on customer-defined instructions. It achieves this through providing the following features:

  • Sophisticated routing through intuitive rules-based logic ensures image data is systematically routed to where interpretations need to be performed, from off-hours coverage, teleradiology, specialty reading, to routing at series or image level, or solving modality and PACS routing limitations.
  • Advanced pre and post fetching provides relevant priors for comparison before they’re needed; ensures prior image data across disparate PACS systems are moved to the exact system where the exam is to be performed. Support for priority prefetch requests for emergency or walk-in cases through configured HL7 order feeds.
  • DICOM normalization from translating study descriptions and modality types to ensuring accession numbers are unique across systems
  • Ability to standardize your DICOM and convert PACS vendors’ proprietary presentation state, annotations, etc.
  • Supports image data compression and transfer syntax negotiation between modality and PACS solutions
  • Easy to use graphical user interface for designing and management of archiving and routing rules.

Mach7’s universal Communication Workflow Engine is a key component of an advanced VNA-based enterprise imaging platform that manages patient imaging data across a healthcare organization’s enterprise. Unlike departmental “point solutions” (PACS, RIS), these enterprise-level platforms offer advanced vendor neutral technologies including sophisticated archiving, customizable communication workflow, and universal visualization solutions that collectively help address patient data management challenges. To recognize true clinical efficiencies, image management solutions must universally provide interoperability across disparate referring facilities, departments, and regional networks. These universal, standards-based VNA Platforms enable communication, drive new revenue channels, speed diagnosis, and reduce storage carrying costs and network latency, helping healthcare organizations achieve their business and patient management goals.

The Communication Workflow Engine delivers capabilities that enable our customers to achieve interoperability within a department, enterprise, or across a region. Our advanced communication engine has solved some of the toughest image routing and sharing challenges worldwide and supports:

  • Plug and play best-of-breed specialty visualization solutions and viewers
  • Telemedicine and teleservices image routing and management requirements
  • Image communication to and from remote sites
  • Translation and transformation of imaging data
  • Enhanced modality and visualization solution investments
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Mach7 Has “Industry’s Most Robust and Technologically Advanced Vendor Neutral Platform” What Do You Mean?

(7 Questions For Eric Rice, CTO, About Mach7’s Innovative Imaging Workflow Platform (RSNA Booth #6344))

In one of Mach7’s online brochures: “Industry’s Most Robust and Technologically Advanced Vendor Neutral Platform”, “Mach7 Enterprise Imaging Platform provides the most robust, fully-functioned product set in the industry for clinical archiving and communication.” There’s also this diagram. I really like how it interrelates content management and specialty-specific workflow (a topic I’ve written about and presented as a webinar).

enterprize-mach7

What do you mean by “Vendor Neutral” and “Platform”?

Eric Rice, Mach7 CTO::

Mach7 Enterprise Imaging Platform is composed of a Vendor Neutral Archive and Communication Workflow Engine. In addition, Mach7 Clinical Studio offers the Physician & Patient Portal and a universal, zero-footprint Clinical Viewer. These components create an imaging solution that is free of proprietary formats and allows physicians to leverage their best-of-breed viewers across specialties. Imaging data is consolidated in the VNA, and a single integration point is used to image enable the EMR. Interfaces between the systems include DICOM, HL7, non-DICOM, and HTTP protocols, with IHE adherence.

Image management then extends beyond the boundaries of any single department or “ology”. Through a vendor neutral, standards-based solution, true image management reaches across the healthcare enterprise to achieve interoperability within a department, enterprise, or region and across specialties.
Mach7 Enterprise Imaging Platform is a clinical imaging platform designed to go beyond Radiology and Cardiology. We currently support endoscopy, dermatology, pathology, oncology, etc. to name a few. Mach7’s Archive can manage and store the following non-DICOM file formats:

• Bitmaps
• Tiffs
• Jpegs
• AVI
• Mpeg
• PNG
• Quick Time
• GIF
• DOC
• PDF
• HTML

For example, regional imaging centers like San Diego Imaging (CA), Radiology and Imaging Specialists (FL) and Wake Radiology (NC), are among the leading healthcare organizations setting a course toward VNA Platforms. These platforms offer advanced vendor neutral technologies including sophisticated archiving, customizable communication workflow, and universal visualization solutions that collectively help address the patient data management challenges that imaging centers encounter. For imaging center success, interoperability across disparate referring facilities and a mix of vendor acquisition devices and visualization systems are a necessity. These universal, standards-based VNA Platforms enable communication, drive new revenue channels, speed diagnosis, and reduce storage carrying costs and network latency, helping healthcare organizations achieve their business and patient management goals.

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How Does Mach7 Leverage Workflows Optimized By Clinical Specialty And “Next Step” Care Protocols?

(7 Questions For Eric Rice, CTO, About Mach7’s Innovative Imaging Workflow Platform (RSNA Booth #6344))

In your The 2014 Guide to VNA (Part 1) with respect to EHRs, you write of “leveraging workflows optimized by clinical specialty [and] “next step’ care protocols”. Those are classic benefits of workflow technology for healthcare. Could you elaborate?

Eric Rice, Mach7 CTO:

When radiology teams want to reduce manual study management and improve workflow efficiency, they turn to study routing solutions. Based on user-defined rules, workflow engines can route studies to the correct viewing workstation, then manage routing of the study to the PACS, for example. This allows reading teams to continue storing studies on their existing PACS while they address and remove manual study touch-points from their workflows. Alerts can also be set for any study not verified as archived directly from the modality or viewing workstation.

A great example of this type of workflow is with our customer Wake Radiology, North Carolina’s largest regional providers of highly specialized diagnostic services. Wake Radiology utilized four remote instances of the Communication Workflow Engine to route studies to local specialty (Mammography, CAD) workstations, as well as to a local PACS cache, and finally to the central instance of the Communication Workflow Engine. This central Engine routes to specialty workstations within the main radiologist reading site, as well as sending the studies into the central PACS.

Compression of the studies is done when sending from the remote sites to the central site for speed and optimal bandwidth usage.

  1. What Is Mach7’s Communication Workflow Engine And How Does It improve Clinical Workflow Efficiency?
  2. Mach7 Has “Industry’s Most Robust and Technologically Advanced Vendor Neutral Platform” What Do You Mean?
  3. How Does Mach7 Leverage Workflows Optimized By Clinical Specialty And “Next Step” Care Protocols?
  4. How Can Mach7 Imaging Tech Help Create Ubiquitous, Seamless Patient Data Interoperability?
  5. Images are the original health IT unstructured data. How does Mach7 release their value?
  6. Mach7’s Image Translation & Transformation Capabilities? Schedule and Criteria-Based Workflows? Study, Series, and Image Level Processing?
  7. How’s the RSNA Conference Going for Mach7? Hot Topics in Conversations with Visitors to Your Booth? (6344!)
Posted in mach7 | Leave a comment

How Can Mach7 Imaging Tech Help Create Ubiquitous, Seamless Patient Data Interoperability?

(7 Questions For Eric Rice, CTO, About Mach7’s Innovative Imaging Workflow Platform (RSNA Booth #6344))

Interoperability is an enormous issue in health IT. How can Healthcare Imaging Informatics, at the intersection of key technologies and sectors, help realize the vision of ubiquitous, seamless patient data interoperability?

Eric Rice, Mach7 CTO:

Health Imaging Informatics can achieve this through a universal, vendor neutral imaging platform. Our VNA Platform delivers capabilities that enable our customers to achieve interoperability within a department, enterprise, or region and across specialties. This includes delivering a full suite of XDS capabilities out of the box.

icon-modality

Our solution provides a Communication Layer that enables interface protocols over DICOM, HL7, XDS, and Web Services – supporting interoperability across the enterprise. Through the Communication Layer, integration points appropriately enable access to processing of data within the Mach7 platform. For example, send imaging data to the platform via DICOM; send image results to the platform via HL7; and query out the images and results via XDS with no additional infrastructure, no migrations, and no conversions required. The Communication Layer interprets requests and translates results real-time into the proper communication protocol. Lastly, the Communication Layer provides an extendible framework for growing the future capabilities of the product.

The goal of achieving uneventful, continuous interoperability among PACS, post-processing software, and modality software is one of the most difficult image management challenges facing healthcare enterprises today. We work in concert with customers and partners to truly understand imaging interoperability, incubating new ideas and leveraging our owned R&D resources for rapid software development and application implementation.

  1. What Is Mach7’s Communication Workflow Engine And How Does It improve Clinical Workflow Efficiency?
  2. Mach7 Has “Industry’s Most Robust and Technologically Advanced Vendor Neutral Platform” What Do You Mean?
  3. How Does Mach7 Leverage Workflows Optimized By Clinical Specialty And “Next Step” Care Protocols?
  4. How Can Mach7 Imaging Tech Help Create Ubiquitous, Seamless Patient Data Interoperability?
  5. Images are the original health IT unstructured data. How does Mach7 release their value?
  6. Mach7’s Image Translation & Transformation Capabilities? Schedule and Criteria-Based Workflows? Study, Series, and Image Level Processing?
  7. How’s the RSNA Conference Going for Mach7? Hot Topics in Conversations with Visitors to Your Booth? (6344!)
Posted in mach7 | Leave a comment

Images Are The Original Health IT Unstructured Data. How Does Mach7 Release Their Value?

(7 Questions For Eric Rice, CTO, About Mach7’s Innovative Imaging Workflow Platform (RSNA Booth #6344))

When health IT pundits speak of “unstructured data” they usually mean free text. But medical images are the original health IT unstructured data. They take up many more petabytes of storage.

unstructured

How are you releasing the value of unstructured imaging data?

Eric Rice, Mach7 CTO:

Non-DICOM images present more issues for PACS users. To create a complete view of the patient, images from non-DICOM sources must be managed, accessed, and shared as part of a complete enterprise imaging management solution. Our VNA Platform has addressed the “non-DICOM dilemma” allowing multiple file formats to be managed within the same archive. Advanced VNA platforms like Mach7’s allow non-DICOM media to be left in its native format. These files are natively optimized and do not require “rehydration” to be accessed and shared. Optionally, non-DICOM media can be “wrapped” in DICOM for easier integration with applications that may require files to contain DICOM header information for access and sharing. Let’s not repeat history and forget the challenges of non-native formats. It may be okay to wrap a PDF formatted EKG in DICOM to be viewed in a traditional cardiology PACS, but if it is a JPEG image from a dermatology modality, why change it? If endoscopy modalities require an AVI formatted movie file, an advanced VNA should be capable of supporting the storage, access, and sharing of this and many other native file formats.

Mach7 Enterprise Imaging Platform is a clinical imaging platform designed to go beyond Radiology and Cardiology. We currently support endoscopy, dermatology, pathology, oncology, etc. to name a few. Mach7’s Archive can manage and store the following non-DICOM file formats: Bitmaps, Tiffs, Jpegs, AVI, Mpeg, PNG, Quick Time, GIF, DOC, PDF, HTML, and TXT.

Also, our universal viewer displays DICOM images as well as non-DICOM images, audio, and video files without requiring any external applications be downloaded or installed on the client. Our technology ensures that no clinical data is downloaded to the client. It is designed to run on workstations, smart tablets, and smart phones regardless of operating system or browser (browser must be HTML5 compliant).

  1. What Is Mach7’s Communication Workflow Engine And How Does It improve Clinical Workflow Efficiency?
  2. Mach7 Has “Industry’s Most Robust and Technologically Advanced Vendor Neutral Platform” What Do You Mean?
  3. How Does Mach7 Leverage Workflows Optimized By Clinical Specialty And “Next Step” Care Protocols?
  4. How Can Mach7 Imaging Tech Help Create Ubiquitous, Seamless Patient Data Interoperability?
  5. Images are the original health IT unstructured data. How does Mach7 release their value?
  6. Mach7’s Image Translation & Transformation Capabilities? Schedule and Criteria-Based Workflows? Study, Series, and Image Level Processing?
  7. How’s the RSNA Conference Going for Mach7? Hot Topics in Conversations with Visitors to Your Booth? (6344!)
Posted in mach7 | Leave a comment

Mach7’s Image Translation & Transformation Capabilities? Schedule and Criteria-Based Workflows? Study, Series, and Image Level Processing?

(7 Questions For Eric Rice, CTO, About Mach7’s Innovative Imaging Workflow Platform (RSNA Booth #6344))

Eric, you narrate a great YouTube video called Communication and Enterprise Imaging Workflow Optimization.

In the video you note (about 10 seconds in): It’s all about the workflow…

Could you elaborate on some of those bullet points? i.e. Translation, Transformation, Schedule and Criteria based workflow, etc?

Eric Rice, Mach7 CTO:

Translation & Transformation Capabilities

Metadata translation and transformation includes translating study information to a common syntax (i.e. CT Head translates to Brain CT), creating a single Patient ID from sets of IDs across an enterprise, and consolidating one view of a patient’s care history. Automate the creation of orders, the translation of metadata attributes (patient identifications, study descriptions, accession numbers), and the transformation of data into localized information system formats.

Schedule and Criteria-Based Workflow

Scheduling based on specific criteria, for example, maybe I have a remote site that doesn’t have a radiologist on staff after midnight, can I route studies to a different location between 12AM – 6AM (and automatically generate HL7 orders etc.)? Can I send specific images or series to a particular location or workstation, not the entire study? Perhaps I only want to send my thin slices to a particular 3D workstation, or only studies with a description like ‘head’ or ‘brain’ to a given destination. Study, series, and image level routing based on very specific criteria eliminates workflow redundancy.

Study, Series, and/or Image-Level Processing

Unique for Mach7, we process at an image level so we have real data intelligence to find out where each image needs to go. Routing rules may be configured down to the image level and therefore enable the routing/forwarding of specific images – for example, send only the ‘radiation dosage’ series or image to a particular destination.

  1. What Is Mach7’s Communication Workflow Engine And How Does It improve Clinical Workflow Efficiency?
  2. Mach7 Has “Industry’s Most Robust and Technologically Advanced Vendor Neutral Platform” What Do You Mean?
  3. How Does Mach7 Leverage Workflows Optimized By Clinical Specialty And “Next Step” Care Protocols?
  4. How Can Mach7 Imaging Tech Help Create Ubiquitous, Seamless Patient Data Interoperability?
  5. Images are the original health IT unstructured data. How does Mach7 release their value?
  6. Mach7’s Image Translation & Transformation Capabilities? Schedule and Criteria-Based Workflows? Study, Series, and Image Level Processing?
  7. How’s the RSNA Conference Going for Mach7? Hot Topics in Conversations with Visitors to Your Booth? (6344!)
Posted in mach7 | Leave a comment