Where In Healthcare Will Wearable Workflow Emerge First?

(This is one of a series of blog posts addressing workflow and wearable themes at this year’s Healthcare Unbound conference. Head on over to Seven Posts About Wearable Workflow And Healthcare Unbound and read them in sequence! For introductions to healthcare workflow tech, see my five-part series or my 42-minute Youtube video.)

OK, what Vince actuality asked me was, “What healthcare industry segments or niche markets do you see as particularly promising?” But I’m well known for turning every question about digital health into a question about healthcare workflow and workflow technology. Plus V did indicate he was particularly interested in my experience and view re Google Glass.

I should precede what I’m about to see with a short disclaimer. My answer is extremely influenced by the so-called “availability heuristic” (recency or salience of memory influencing frequency estimate). In spite rejection of Google Glass by the consumer market (see my second post in which I discuss stigma as a barrier to wearable adoption) Glass is still going gang-busters in healthcare, if anything, it’s picking up speed. I recently attended the [wearable conference in Indianapolis] and participated in building a prototype workflow tech-driven Glass app for hospital environmental services.

Plus, since we’re (or at least I’m) talking wearable workflow, not wearables per se, this imposes a lower constraint on the necessary sophistication and complexity of wearable tech and backend systems. And right now, the only almost-to-market wearable of sufficient functionality and real-life playing out prototypes and pilots if Glass.

There may be as many as a hundred Glass in healthcare pilots out there. At the recent wearable in tech conference in Indianapolis, 19 out of 20 presentations were about Glass. Whereas the previous week there’d been two major (not healthcare specific) wearable conferences in which Glass was a small minority of presentations.

Many of the early of Glass startups both inside and outside healthcare are pivoting to smartwatches, which are the most similar to Glass in ability to deliver notifications and accept gesture and voice commands. What’s happening is a generalization of the small form factor, notification, acknowledgement, querying functionality across wearable devices. Of course smartwatches can provide the kind of realtime handsfree video streaming and sharing capability of glass, but the two classes of device not only share a fundamental wearable use case (notifications) but Android Wear and Glass share many parts of the Android platform.

So if Glass and smartwatches are in the lead for delivering sophisticated wearable workflow, where in healthcare will they deliver sophisticated wearable workflow first? Where Google Glass will thrive is a good received wisdom view on this.

“At health systems like San Diego’s Palomar Health and Boston’s Brigham and Women’s and Beth Israel Deaconess and at innovative companies like Pristine, Augmedix, Accenture and Philips, Google Glass is being teased, tossed and turned around to create a platform that allows the healthcare provider to access needed information at the point of care, communicate with colleagues, even create a real-time medical record.”

More generally, the Glass excels at the following three general use cases:

  • Real-time, hands-free, cognitive support
  • Ambient awareness
  • Capture experience

For an extended description and analysis of my Google Glass early adopter experience, in light recent news about Intel supplying chips for the next version of Glass, see my Google Glass Intel Inside®, The Internet Of Things, and The Maker Movement.

That’s the last post in this series. The next post is Who Are The Emerging Leaders in Wearable Workflow?


Links to all seven posts in this series:

Seven Posts About Wearable Workflow And Healthcare Unbound

This post.

Batteries, Workflow, & Stigma Are Biggest Barriers To Wearable Tech

Interestingly, all three involve different senses of the word, “power”

  • Batteries store and release power.
  • Power is the rate of performing work. It’s influenced by workflow.
  • Stigmatization involves power struggle.

But this observation is just a hook to get you read the post!

What’s The Connection Between Wearable Workflow Platforms and Health IT?

  • What’s an application platform?
  • How have application platforms evolved since the sixties?
  • What’s a wearable workflow platform?

Where In Healthcare Will Wearable Workflow Emerge First?

  • Consumer and patients wearing wearables: Not Google Glass.
  • Clinicians and healthcare workers: Google Glass
  • Hands free info and notifications, plus remote video sharing…

Who Are The Emerging Leaders in Wearable Workflow?

  • Apple
  • Google
  • Samsung
  • Salesforce
  • Intel
  • Vandrico
  • Blackberry
  • Jawbone

How Fast Will Wearable Workflow Become A Reality?

I average five different forecasts of the size of the wearables market in 2018. Then halve.

Google Glass Intel Inside®, The Internet Of Things, and The Maker Movement

This post is a little different. I’m a maker. I have Google Glass. I like Intel’s new Edison microprocessor. I describe my experience, motivations, and Internet of Things wish list.

(This was one of a series of blog posts addressing workflow and wearable themes at this year’s Healthcare Unbound conference. Head on over to Seven Posts About Wearable Workflow And Healthcare Unbound and read them in sequence! For introductions to healthcare workflow tech, see my five-part series or my 42-minute Youtube video.)

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Who Are The Emerging Leaders in Wearable Workflow?

(This is one of a series of blog posts addressing workflow and wearable themes at this year’s Healthcare Unbound conference. Head on over to Seven Posts About Wearable Workflow And Healthcare Unbound and read them in sequence! For introductions to healthcare workflow tech, see my five-part series or my 42-minute Youtube video.)

Who Are The Emerging Leaders in Wearable Workflow?

  • Apple
  • Google
  • Samsung
  • Salesforce
  • Intel
  • Vandrico
  • Blackberry
  • Jawbone

I’ll not provide a detailed account of how I derived this list. I literally simply asked myself this question, and these are the companies that came to mind. In other words, it is an idiosyncratic list. I will, however, describe my general criteria for why a company interests me, from a wearable workflow perspective.

If you go back to my discussion of orchestrated versus choreographed wearable workflow in What’s The Connection Between Wearable Workflow Platforms and Health IT? you’ll recall the need for either a maestro directing the orchestra or distributed proactive cooperative behavior. In either case, app-to-app behavior is called for. The apps may be on different wearable devices, but it’s still app-to-app behavior. App-to-app behavior has been quite a bugaboo in the mobile health space. Everyone loves their tablet or smartphone, but many hate their EHR. So why not replace EHRs with collections of apps! The problem here is two-fold. First, mobile apps don’t share patient data and context. Second, app-to-app navigation and coordination is, in some ways, even worse than moving from screen-to-screen in a traditional EHR.

Regardless of whether wearable workflow relies on orchestration (workflow engine in the cloud) or choreography (local customizable rule-based interaction) apps on wearable devices will need to communicate, coordinate, etc. So the companies I’m most interested in are those that either have some kind of app-to-app tech, or the kind of sophisticated cloud infrastructure that could participate in a an ecosystem of wearable device to wearable device communication and coordination. Apple is heading down this path with recent iOS upgrades and Continuity. Blackberry has the Flow app-to-app system. Samsung also calls its nascent app-to-app system Flow. Android has had an app-to-app invocation system for some time. It’s likely that wearable device to device workflow tech will evolve out to, or at least leverage this kind of technology.

Then there’s the workflow engine in the cloud approach. Google and Amazon (not listed, maybe next year when they wade more fully into the wearable space) both have cloud-based workflow tech that could be adaptive to orchestrating wearable workflows. Vandrico is a small company in Vancouver, BC, specializing in cross-platform wearable notification management. Their server sits between legacy systems (say hospital EHRs) and wearable devices such as smartwatches. It can format and distribute and accept, in return, acknowledgements and inputs from wearable devices. Salesforce also uses workflow tech, and is bringing cross-platform cloud support to wearables. Jawbone has received enormous private investment, compared to all other wearables. With multiple devices and apps, Jawbone is a natural investigator of wearable healthcare workflow. Finally, Intel, whose chips are to be used in the next version of Glass, already has a partner, Symphony Teleca, working on auto/home automation integration. Wearables are a natural add-one.

Like I said, these are just the companies that pop in to mind, when I ask myself who are the emerging wearable workflow players. I see new potential participants almost every week. It’s really not about the hardware. The hardware are just analogues to desktop widgets. It’s the systems behind the systems that will determine who will dominate wearable tech for the next decade.

I hope you’re find this series on wearable workflow interesting! If so, please proceed to my next post: How Fast Will Wearable Workflow Become A Reality? It’s actually pretty short. :)


Links to all seven posts in this series:

Seven Posts About Wearable Workflow And Healthcare Unbound

This post.

Batteries, Workflow, & Stigma Are Biggest Barriers To Wearable Tech

Interestingly, all three involve different senses of the word, “power”

  • Batteries store and release power.
  • Power is the rate of performing work. It’s influenced by workflow.
  • Stigmatization involves power struggle.

But this observation is just a hook to get you read the post!

What’s The Connection Between Wearable Workflow Platforms and Health IT?

  • What’s an application platform?
  • How have application platforms evolved since the sixties?
  • What’s a wearable workflow platform?

Where In Healthcare Will Wearable Workflow Emerge First?

  • Consumer and patients wearing wearables: Not Google Glass.
  • Clinicians and healthcare workers: Google Glass
  • Hands free info and notifications, plus remote video sharing…

Who Are The Emerging Leaders in Wearable Workflow?

  • Apple
  • Google
  • Samsung
  • Salesforce
  • Intel
  • Vandrico
  • Blackberry
  • Jawbone

How Fast Will Wearable Workflow Become A Reality?

I average five different forecasts of the size of the wearables market in 2018. Then halve.

Google Glass Intel Inside®, The Internet Of Things, and The Maker Movement

This post is a little different. I’m a maker. I have Google Glass. I like Intel’s new Edison microprocessor. I describe my experience, motivations, and Internet of Things wish list.

(This was one of a series of blog posts addressing workflow and wearable themes at this year’s Healthcare Unbound conference. Head on over to Seven Posts About Wearable Workflow And Healthcare Unbound and read them in sequence! For introductions to healthcare workflow tech, see my five-part series or my 42-minute Youtube video.)

Posted in hcub2014 | Leave a comment

How Fast Will Wearable Workflow Become A Reality?

(This is one of a series of blog posts addressing workflow and wearable themes at this year’s Healthcare Unbound conference. Head on over to Seven Posts About Wearable Workflow And Healthcare Unbound and read them in sequence! For introductions to healthcare workflow tech, see my five-part series or my 42-minute Youtube video.)

While I’m fascinated by the potential of wearable technology, I’m skeptical about some of the more bombastic growth predictions. We may be pretty close to the top of the famous hype cycle. Plus, I don’t have a crystal ball or time machine. So what I did was an informal meta-analysis. Looked at multiple recent (2013 and 2014) market forecasts, focused on 2018, calculated the average, and divided by half (in the same spirit that engineers calculate safe load limits, then double). I know that these forecasts are about wearables and not the workflow tech I believe will be necessary for workflow tech to achieve some of the higher numbers in the most ambitious forecasts.

Caveats: I went with dollars, not units. Also, I didn’t adjust for current numbers (so don’t address percent growth). I looked for different forecasts from different sources. (You’re welcome to double check this. The first forecast is from BI Intelligence. It’s frequently cited, or at least shown.)

~$12B
~4B
~30B
~8B
~17B
———
~$14.2B

The average market size in in 2018 is $14.2B. Divide by half, to be cautious. :) $7.1B. (Which, by the way, is still greater than the lowest 2018 market estimate.)

Just a word about my dividing by half. Many wearables market forecasts note that since this is a new product category, so there’s no historical context. (Of course, there is prior success and failure of other products in new categories, but how does one quantify, generalize, and extrapolate to this new wearable technology product category.)

Now, what is one to make of my estimate of $7.1B in wearable sales in 2018? Well, you really also need to estimate a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR). Only with both a base and a rate can you estimate the size of the opportunity for new tech and business models to generate profit and return for investors. I’ve seen CAGR numbers between 25% and 75%. So we’re talking a couple billion a year of new revenue. I leave finding five independent estimates and averaging them as an exercise for the reader. (Post it as a comment here, please!).

The next, and last, post in this series is a change of pace. While I don’t address wearable workflow directly, it’s implicit in why I’m interested in what I’m interested in. I’m a Maker. I have Google Glass. I like Intel’s new Edison microprocessor. I’d love to put them together to do cool things. I describe my experience, motivations, and Internet of Things wish list: Google Glass Intel Inside®, The Internet Of Things, and The Maker Movement.


Links to all seven posts in this series:

Seven Posts About Wearable Workflow And Healthcare Unbound

This post.

Batteries, Workflow, & Stigma Are Biggest Barriers To Wearable Tech

Interestingly, all three involve different senses of the word, “power”

  • Batteries store and release power.
  • Power is the rate of performing work. It’s influenced by workflow.
  • Stigmatization involves power struggle.

But this observation is just a hook to get you read the post!

What’s The Connection Between Wearable Workflow Platforms and Health IT?

  • What’s an application platform?
  • How have application platforms evolved since the sixties?
  • What’s a wearable workflow platform?

Where In Healthcare Will Wearable Workflow Emerge First?

  • Consumer and patients wearing wearables: Not Google Glass.
  • Clinicians and healthcare workers: Google Glass
  • Hands free info and notifications, plus remote video sharing…

Who Are The Emerging Leaders in Wearable Workflow?

  • Apple
  • Google
  • Samsung
  • Salesforce
  • Intel
  • Vandrico
  • Blackberry
  • Jawbone

How Fast Will Wearable Workflow Become A Reality?

I average five different forecasts of the size of the wearables market in 2018. Then halve.

Google Glass Intel Inside®, The Internet Of Things, and The Maker Movement

This post is a little different. I’m a maker. I have Google Glass. I like Intel’s new Edison microprocessor. I describe my experience, motivations, and Internet of Things wish list.

(This was one of a series of blog posts addressing workflow and wearable themes at this year’s Healthcare Unbound conference. Head on over to Seven Posts About Wearable Workflow And Healthcare Unbound and read them in sequence! For introductions to healthcare workflow tech, see my five-part series or my 42-minute Youtube video.)

Posted in hcub2014 | Leave a comment

Google Glass Intel Inside®, The Internet Of Things, and The Maker Movement

(This is one of a series of blog posts addressing workflow and wearable themes at this year’s Healthcare Unbound conference. Head on over to Seven Posts About Wearable Workflow And Healthcare Unbound and read them in sequence! For introductions to healthcare workflow tech, see my five-part series or my 42-minute Youtube video.)

In this post I discuss the extraordinary Hype Cycle that Google generated, recent news the next version of Glass will use Intel chips, and the Maker Movement. I’ve argued staid health IT needs to become more like the Maker Movement. In order to more fully explain the “personality” of a Maker, I’ve described myself! :) And my efforts to create a “peds-bot,” the 3D printed, microprocessor-animated, Robot-In-My-Pocket.

Are you familiar with Gartner’s Hype Cycle? It starts with a technology trigger. For example, miniaturization, cloud, and head mounted displays (plus other stuff) led to Google Glass.

Exciting potential captures collective imagination and buzz starts to build. The buzz begins to feed on itself. Folks project all kinds of fantastic wishful thinking without really understanding the technology. Of course, even the inventors sometimes don’t completely understand the tech, so this ignorance is a matter of degree. At some point, the hysteria of crowds can no longer sustain its stratospheric flight, and expectations crash. Many are so disappointed they actually think they were sort of hoodwinked. Subconsciously they “punish” the whole idea of the technology, consigning it to the dustbin of tech failures. However, some of the more clear-eyed realists soldier on: Learning, tweaking, improving. Success stores begin to emerge, though begin to be “re-acknowledged” might be the more accurate phrase. Eventually, the new tech is productively integrated into day-to-day workflows and taken for granted. If anyone pauses to reflect about the roller coaster of high hopes and dashed expectations, it’s usually to wonder what the fuss was about.

Glass could be the poster child for The Hype Cycle. It’s Peak of Inflated Expectations was so high, its Trough of Disillusionment so low, the Glass hype cycle is almost a parody of The Hype Cycle, which is already somewhat parody-ish caricature of what happens to new technologies.

I got Glass in June of 2013. At the point it was still climbing toward the Peak of Inflated Expectations. I used it all the time when out and about. No one, and I mean literally no one (unless I was at a tech meetup) knew what it was. Gradually the percent of people in the know increased. I gave personal, two-minute, demos to over 500 people. I never had a bad experience. Then editorializing began, in media and social media, about appearance (dorky), intrusiveness (privacy), and elitism ($1500, never mind it won’t be anywhere near that when it goes retail). While to this day, I’ve never had a bad experience while wearing Glass out and about, I did become increasingly selective about when I wore Glass. I’d never had a bad experience, but I was aware there was some, in my mind, unwarranted animus, and I don’t see any point in blundering into any unpleasant situations. Ah, those halcyon early days, when literally no one knew what Glass was and I felt comfortable wearing Glass without feeling self-conscious.

What’s my point? Well, when the new version of Glass is available next year, small enough to fit into my eyeglasses, I’ll be able to return to those halcyon days. I’ll be able wear Glass without worrying I may be offending someone’s fashion sensibilities. And, since some eyeglasses can cost hundreds of dollars, I don’t think there will be much different between eyeglasses with and eyeglasses without Glass technology.

That leaves privacy. It will remain a potential issue. Glass isn’t actually as privacy-invading, as people imagine. Simple rules of etiquette and good manners will likely suffice. I’ll carry old-fashioned eyeglasses as a backup, if it’s ever a problem. And, eventually, in the long run, social conventions will change, as they always have and aways will.

This blog post is the last in a series about “Wearable Workflow.” I had intended it to be about Google Glass and the Internet of Things. The wearable workflow would have been about workflows among Glass and an increasingly intelligent and proactive world. Coincidently I just received my Edison microprocessor from Intel. Doubly coincidently, the Wall Street Journal just reported that Intel is going to supply chips for future version of Glass.

In the above tweet you can see Glass, the Intel Edison microprocessor, and a corner of a “breakout” board. The breakout board is used for prototyping, because Edison itself is so small. Edison is small so it can be used in wearables. In the lower left corner of the breakout board is a small rectangle and a connector, on to which Edison is mounted in order to communicate with the board. What you can’t see on the Edison, due to the glare, is the tagline, “What Will You Make?” You see, Edison is aimed squarely at the Maker Movement, about which I’ve written previously.

Before I get to the real meat of this post, what I’d like to see happen regarding Glass and Intel, I need to supply some back story. When I got Glass in early 2013, I started looking around for ideas for Glass apps to build in order to better understand how Glass works from an software development point of view.

I wrote a so-called Glass Eye Chart app:

Co-developed a hospital environmental services app:

But what I was really fascinated by was the potential for Glass to interact, to sense and command, my near and distance environments. I’d seen the experience of two elderly bed-ridden relatives and wondered if Glass can be used to control house lights and temperature and such. It can. Here’s I’m talking about using the Glass customizable tilt angle for turning Glass on and off for someone whose head is on a pillow.

And so, above was my path from Glass to the Internet of Things. For example, below I learned how to turn an LED (Light Emitting Diode) on and off over Wi-Fi using Glass. There are gadgets that can accept the LED input and turn on an off an 120 volt appliance.

At that point (and I describe this in order to emphasize the importance of serendipity in the Maker Movement) I began in investigate Bluetooth as an alternative means of communication between Glass and Arduino-compatible microprocessors and modules. I bumped into to nurses from a local children’s hospital and that free wheeling conversion moved from home automation to wearable technology. What if grandma could tell Sparky her pet robot to turn on the lights. The grandkids would like that. Hey, pediatricians would like that. Can you fit Sparky into a shirt pocket? And that is how Mr. RIMP (Robot-In-My-Pocket) was (eventually) born.

Then, at the Wearable & Things conference, where I presented Mr. RIMP, I met Rex St John, Internet of Things Evangelist at Intel. I was aware I needed to make the next version of Mr. RIMP both smaller and more powerful. And that is where the Intel Edison microprocessor comes in. It’s more powerful than the Arduino Uno board version 2.0 of Mr. RIMP uses but also much smaller. And it has the onboard Wi-FI and Bluetooth I need to make Mr. RIMP interact with me and its environment.

While Mr. RIMP is essentially interactive, programmable, toy, it’s also a platform for my exploring my idea of “wearable workflow.” In fact, I have another character, besides Mr. RIMP, I call Mr. “Wearable Workflow,” (inspired by Reddy Kilowatt).

Building Mr. RIMP. Iterating through versions of him. Climbing multiple learning curves at multiple layers of design: software, hardware, 3D “carpentry”, and manufacturability (which I’ve barely begun to investigate). This has been my entree into a fascinating new world of making new things out of almost as new things.

Well those are my thoughts about Google Glass, Intel, and the Maker movement. I told is as a personal story, because I think it’s useful to understand a kind of playful engineering mindset. As Intel, itself, puts it I need “low-cost, product-ready, general purpose compute platforms that help lower the barriers to entry for entrepreneurs of all sizes—from pro makers [CW: that's me] to consumer electronics and companies working in the Internet of Things (IoT).”

What I need, as an Internet of Things, wearable tech, “inventor,” are components (both hardware and software) that I can easily put together, Lego block-style, and means to control their interactive data and control workflows with each other, their environment, and me. I’m willing to create from scratch whatever I have to, within reason, but at some point either the path of least effort determines what I make, or, if too much effort, then I don’t make.

I need tools, tool chains, infrastructure, platforms, software development kits, example code, best practice documentation, technical support, communities to join (so I can get and give help), and then I need a path to manufacturability (if I want to Mr. RIMP that far).

Now, I know, I’m small potatoes. Basically an advanced hobbyist having fun. However, I think I’m representative of potentially perhaps millions of “Makers.” The confluence of 3D printing, inexpensive but multifunctional microprocessors such as the Intel Edison, wireless cloud, Bluetooth libraries, free resources, documentation, tutorials, and courses on the Web, are returning us, by analogy, to back when tinkerers in garages created entire new industries just having fun exploring the possibilities.


Links to all seven posts in this series:

Seven Posts About Wearable Workflow And Healthcare Unbound

This post.

Batteries, Workflow, & Stigma Are Biggest Barriers To Wearable Tech

Interestingly, all three involve different senses of the word, “power”

  • Batteries store and release power.
  • Power is the rate of performing work. It’s influenced by workflow.
  • Stigmatization involves power struggle.

But this observation is just a hook to get you read the post!

What’s The Connection Between Wearable Workflow Platforms and Health IT?

  • What’s an application platform?
  • How have application platforms evolved since the sixties?
  • What’s a wearable workflow platform?

Where In Healthcare Will Wearable Workflow Emerge First?

  • Consumer and patients wearing wearables: Not Google Glass.
  • Clinicians and healthcare workers: Google Glass
  • Hands free info and notifications, plus remote video sharing…

Who Are The Emerging Leaders in Wearable Workflow?

  • Apple
  • Google
  • Samsung
  • Salesforce
  • Intel
  • Vandrico
  • Blackberry
  • Jawbone

How Fast Will Wearable Workflow Become A Reality?

I average five different forecasts of the size of the wearables market in 2018. Then halve.

Google Glass Intel Inside®, The Internet Of Things, and The Maker Movement

This post is a little different. I’m a maker. I have Google Glass. I like Intel’s new Edison microprocessor. I describe my experience, motivations, and Internet of Things wish list.

(This was one of a series of blog posts addressing workflow and wearable themes at this year’s Healthcare Unbound conference. Head on over to Seven Posts About Wearable Workflow And Healthcare Unbound and read them in sequence! For introductions to healthcare workflow tech, see my five-part series or my 42-minute Youtube video.)

Posted in hcub2014, usability | Leave a comment

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!)
Posted in mach7 | Leave a comment

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!)
Posted in mach7 | Leave a comment

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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