Optimize Your Enterprise Imaging Data Flow and Teleradiology with Life Image
In 2019, Southern California Permanente Medical Group (a Kaiser Permanente subsidiary), that has implemented both Life Image and Dicom Systems platforms, shared common clinical use cases and results from leveraging complementary systems to automate workflows that previously required substantial manual intervention. Learn how you can optimize your next-gen Enterprise Imaging by integrating extramural and intramural data, resulting in streamlined imaging workflows. This discussion elucidates how you can take steps to streamline and expedite the dissemination of imaging data across the healthcare enterprises, improving efficiency and the continuum of care.
This excerpt from the webinar examines:
- A vision for the future where image sharing and enterprise imaging are one and the same.
- Introductions to Life Image, Dicom Systems, and Southern California Permanente Medical Group
- A sample image workflow from Southern California Permanente Medical Group
- How Kaiser Permanente providers ensure longitudinal patient records are intact and available at
Note: This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
Florent Saint-Clair: Good morning and good afternoon everybody. I am absolutely thrilled to be joined by my co-panelists, Mr. Richie Pfeiffer from Life Image and Bruce Hoel from Southern California, Permanente Medical Group, also known as Kaiser Permanente, Southern California. We will have an opportunity for Q&A towards the end of our presentation and very much look forward to everyone’s participation.
A Vision For The Future of Enterprise Imaging
Florent Saint-Clair: The intent of this webinar is for us to portray what our vision is for this industry. And I believe we’re joined by one of our illustrious colleagues, Mr. David Brown, also from Southern California Kaiser Permanente. I’m hoping David can hear us and will also enter some questions in our Q&A box, but the reason I mention David is very specific. Ten years ago, I was a panelist with the founder of Life Image, and he asked us a very fundamental question like only David knows how. He said,
“Why don’t image sharing vendors function more like the cell phone companies?”
Life Image Connected View Across the Patient Journey
Richie Pfeiffer: A little bit about Life image, we were the company that started the medical exchange business 11 years ago. And it all began because we were trying to get medical images and reports that were on a CD from a referral provider into the PACS/MIMPS system of an academic medical center, those centers like UCSF, UCLA, and MD Anderson. And then over time, we developed a digital technology that allowed our network to grow, initially across just the U.S., but then globally. And we were able to eliminate the use or even the need for hard copy media, so we could allow for the transfer of those medical images and those associated reports over our cloud network. And that dramatically improved the speed and the efficiency for the benefit of those patients and providers.
Life Image Network
Life Image Connectivity Topology
Life Image and Dicom Systems Partnership
We’ve partnered with a couple of companies lately. We’ve partnered with a company called Mendel.ai and that’s so that we can help our customers and new customers work within the clinical trial space. Our most recent partnership is with Dicom Systems. We are hoping that we can provide their customers with the opportunity to use the Life Image network with other Dicom Systems sites and also to exchange with Life Image providers. It is extremely important that I highlight that we have partnered with Dicom Systems, because they are an expert in interoperability and workflows within the institutions, and we are complementary technologies that work together for the benefit of our customers.
About Dicom Systems
Florent Saint-Clair: “Dicom Systems has been around for about 11 years, and we’ve grown quite a bit as you can see in terms of our numbers. On an annual basis, we power about a little bit closer to 12 million annual teleradiology reads. Our Interoperability Suite enabled us to grow within the enterprise, so to power a lot of those intramural workflows that are so vital to enterprise imaging environments. On an annual basis, we handle about 8 billion images flowing through our servers across the board. And most recently, about two years ago we started getting involved increasingly in machine learning. We have a pretty close partnership with Google, we’re also available in AWS and we’re doing more and more projects involving massive amounts of imaging data that need to be deidentified scientifically to feed into deep learning algorithms.
* As of 2021, over 30 billion medical images pass through the Dicom Systems Unifier platform annually.
In terms of archiving some of our customers or using us as an archive, the US Army Dental Command, for example, had us migrate 27 million historic dental exams from their proprietary archive into our VNA in San Antonio, Texas on-prem. And then every 24 hours, the VNA gets hit with an additional 5,000 new exams. So, we are no strangers to high volume workflows. Our Interoperability Suite is also at the heart of everything we do. You can use us as an archive, although the vast majority of our customers today, these 8 billion images flowing through us, are transient data, not necessarily ending up in our VNA, so many of our customers are using us for moving data, massive amounts of data, from point A to point B securely. Then you can deploy us in a cloud environment, you can deploy us on-prem. Really, we don’t restrict you as to what kind of IT environment you want to use to deploy our technology. We’re a very simple Linux-based appliance that fits with virtually any IT environment, and then increasingly you can rely on our toolsets to participate and use us as an on-ramp to the AI world.
About Southern California Permanente Medical Group (SCPMG)
Bruce Hoel: “I wanna thank Life Image and Dicom Systems for putting together this webinar and I do appreciate being invited, and I’m hoping I can add to this discussion. As this slide points out, I work for the Southern California region of Kaiser Permanente, specifically, I work for the physicians’ group as their principal imaging solutions architect. For those of you that know Kaiser, our regions are quite large, we have 15 medical centers here in Southern California, and of the 221 other medical offices, approximately 120 of those produce medical images. We have been working with Life Image and Dicom Systems for several years now, and in both cases, we started by using only a subset of those systems capabilities but we continue to use additional functionality as our requirements changed.
I’m gonna go over some simple workflows that show how we use these two products together to meet our business needs. As you might expect for this sort of demonstration, these examples are very simplified and the real-world implementation can be much more complex. While Kaiser Permanente’s general practice is to perform imaging studies in-house, there are some exceptions to that. For example, on the edges of our region, we may outsource certain procedures and we also have mobile providers that travel from hospital to hospital, like our PET/CT trucks that we contract with. In those cases where an outside provider is sending large volumes of studies to KP, we wanna make that process as simple and automated as possible. The first two use cases will show some of the ways we’ve met that goal.”
In this webinar, Southern California Permanente Medical Group (a Kaiser Permanente subsidiary), a user of both platforms, shared common clinical use cases on the results they have seen from leveraging complementary systems to automate workflows that previously required substantial manual intervention. Learn how you can optimize your next-gen Enterprise Imaging by integrating extramural and intramural data, resulting in elegant and streamlined imaging workflows.
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