That’s the word I keep coming back to when I think of what has been going on among our customers, at Life Image, and in the healthcare industry overall in early 2022.
With what is hopefully the major trauma associated with the pandemic behind us, our customers are focusing like never before on increasing their digital interoperability and consolidating their technology vendors to reduce their costs and decrease their security exposure — areas, by the way, that Life Image has always considered part of our values. Besides hospitals’ streamlining vendors and workflows, we are seeing market consolidation with two known image exchange vendors being acquired by larger less-interoperability-focused companies. We expect to see the effects of this consolidation and potential disruption well in 2023.
At Life Image, we continue to seek ways to easily and effectively satisfy the demands of our customers to help make the delivery of healthcare as efficient as possible. That vigilance has led to the development and real-world deployment of our EHR Order Entry Automation and Network Search and Retrieve tools and to partnering with IBM Watson to offer its AI orchestration service for imaging (IBM Imaging AI Orchestrator) to our customers. These new offerings have significant potential to enhance the efficiency of healthcare delivery – saving time, reducing costs, and helping to improve care.
In addition to existing customers asking to increase their utilization of Life Image, striving to completely digitize imaging and eliminate the pain of physical media (CDs), we continue to receive numerous requests to install our Interoperability Suite and become part of our worldwide network. Our network will continue to grow exponentially now and throughout the coming years as we onboard the roughly 2,000 Community Care Network providers that deliver health care to our nation’s veterans and the 200 VA major medical centers across the country.
We are excited that electronic image exchange has become a reality for more and more health care organizations and that we have been able to develop new solutions to further enhance workflows with the Life Image Interoperability Suite. It’s clear that the long-predicted future of interoperability is now upon us, providing innumerable opportunities to improve the quality of care while lowering costs, and that one of its more recent benefactors, artificial intelligence solutions, when properly deployed, can drive enhancements in the care delivery system. Read the newsletter below to learn more about some of Life Image’s new efficiency-enhancing solutions, our network growth, and more.
Thank you all for playing a part in this ongoing healthcare evolution.
Matthew A. Michela
President and CEO
National Image Exchange Deployment for the VA Finally Begins
After significant disruption to the rollout of interoperability at the VA due to the pandemic and establishment of future-state technology and security, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has determined that the Ohio and VA Northwest Health Network regions will be the first areas where the Life Image exchange solution will be deployed. We expect that private healthcare facilities delivering care to veterans (Community Care Network (CCN) providers) will be able to start using Life Image to exchange images with community providers in these areas by the end of this year.
The VA Northwest Health Network includes VA hospitals and VA-affiliated care facilities in the states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, most of Idaho, and one county each in Montana and California. The Ohio region, which includes the city of Columbus, is more geographically centralized. These two regions alone represent approximately 250 private facilities that have the opportunity of digitizing their imaging exchange with the VA and with each other to eventually eliminate medical CDs for imaging.
Life Image applications and network connections have received approval by the VHA/Department of Defense, as evidenced by what is referenced as an Authority to Operate (ATO) and an Authority to Connect (ATC) to provide imaging interoperability to connect all VA facilities to all private facilities serving veterans as part of the VHA’s Electronic Health Record Modernization initiatives (EHRM). As Life Image prepares to go live in a particular region, we’ll work with corresponding private facilities in the local CCN to ensure that they’ve been enabled to share images electronically with VA facilities.
PRODUCT ENHANCEMENTS AND RELEASES
Coming Soon: PureWeb’s Best-in-Class Diagnostic Viewer
Life Image is excited to announce that we are adding a new best-in-class diagnostic viewer to our solution set for Cloud Universal Inbox, LINC, and LILA users.
PureWeb’s award-winning mobile visualization platform, ResolutionMD (ResMD), empowers healthcare professionals to collaborate and diagnose while viewing and sharing medical imaging on any device. A true enterprise product, built with performance in mind, ResMD is a massively scalable, FDA-approved 510(k) device that offers a comprehensive toolset, including 2D, MIP/MPR, and 3D viewing and collaboration. ResMD has been trusted by clinicians and innovators alike since 2006 and is currently in use at over 2,000 locations globally.
Life Image customers can start enabling the ResMD viewer upon the next release of Cloud as well as have it installed after upgrading to LILA 5.10. Please speak with your Life Image representative for more details.
Watson Health’s IBM Imaging AI Orchestrator: Applying Artificial Intelligence in the Real World
IBM Watson Health Imaging, healthcare’s leading AI solution provider, and Life Image are partnering to bring the power of artificial intelligence (AI) insights and comprehensive imaging interoperability to healthcare providers. Through this collaboration, Life Image customers will have access to Watson Health’s IBM Imaging AI Orchestrator and its AI partner ecosystem through Life Image’s platform.
IBM Imaging AI Orchestrator is a cloud-based AI service that provides scalable access to regulatory-cleared AI applications — from leading AI solution providers — that have been vetted to meet strict data security and privacy standards. It is designed to eliminate some of the most significant barriers to AI adoption for clinicians and healthcare IT teams alike.
Orchestration helps eliminate redundant expenditures and the need for additional platforms to manage and integrate or security reviews to conduct. New and established Life Image customers will be able to access Watson Health’s expanding imaging and AI solution without installing new hardware or software. The offering will integrate into Life Image’s Interoperability Suite for image exchange, enabling orchestration to be accessed by using existing workflows.
We encourage you to read “Changing and Maturing Perspectives on AI,” an article by David Gruen, MD, MBA, FACR, Chief Medical Officer of IBM Watson Health Imaging. In this piece, he focuses on what he believes to be the key to accelerating the adoption of AI in the imaging field and how AI orchestration can enhance the experience of imaging organizations that are using multiple AI applications.
Additionally, keep an eye out for new AI solution additions to be added to the Life Image portfolio as hospitals are now realizing that they can have access to many AI services through Life Image without costly new deployments.
PRODUCT ENHANCEMENTS AND RELEASES
Shrink the Order Entry Burden With Order Entry Automation
We’re happy to report that multiple customers are adding our newly redesigned Order Entry Automation feature. Available for customers who use Epic or Cerner for their EHR, this integrated capability provides a significant opportunity for Life Image customers to enhance their operational efficiency.
Order Entry Automation helps save time by streamlining the ingestion of outside radiology exams, generating orders, and pushing exams to your PACS. Here’s how it works:
- Ingests and commits outside imaging studies to the patient record within the EHR, with ingested studies automatically normalized with your facility’s identifiers for patient name, date of birth, gender, and MRN
- Generates an imaging order within the EHR, auto-nominates it, and pushes it to your facility’s PACS or dictation system
This automated process not only saves time but also helps to reduce unnecessary repeat imaging. If you’re interested in improving your operational efficiency through the use of Order Entry Automation, please contact your Client Relationship Manager for more information.
PRODUCT ENHANCEMENTS AND RELEASES
Network Search and Retrieve: Search for and Transfer Exams From an Outside PACS
Is there at least one external facility that you intensively exchange exams with? With Network Search and Retrieve, you no longer have to wait for an outside facility to send you the studies you need. Through Life Image, you can connect directly with a PACS outside of your WAN/LAN network — with the appropriate approval(s) from the outside facility — to search for and transfer exams from that PACS.
The seamless exchange capability provided by Network Search and Retrieve is ideal for:
- High-volume referral sites.
- Working with newly acquired facilities that aren’t connected to your network yet.
- Enhancing partnerships with outside facilities, such as telemedicine or second-opinion providers.
Key features of Network Search and Retrieve:
- Uses familiar workflows for an intuitive user experience
- Supports connections to multiple outside points; can be configured to query multiple outside PACSs
- Allows users to run multiple searches at once and have exams delivered to their Life Image inbox
- Configures quickly, with limited effort from your IT resources
Contact your Life Image Client Relationship Manager to learn more about what Network Search and Retrieve can do for your imaging team.
LILA 5.10 Coming Soon
Life Image’s next version of LILA will be released in April. This LILA version runs on Debian 10 and includes the new PureWeb ResMD Viewer along with nearly a dozen additional features and workflow improvements. 5.10 also includes all the high-demand features previously released in version 5.9, such as Order Entry Automation. For more information, visit the release notes section of the Life Image product help site at
For the full list of enhancements and improvements included, please contact your Life Image Client Relationship Manager.
End of Support Report
Please be aware that support for LILA version 5.6 ended in 2021, and the end of support for version 5.7 will begin on August 4, 2022.
Support for Clinical Connector has ended. Customers still using the legacy Clinical Connector solution for patient data sharing are urged to migrate over to Patient Connect Portal as soon as possible. Deployment costs for this transition are being waived for existing Life Image customers.
Each major release of software introduces new features and fixes and often includes performance, stability, and security enhancements. Using outdated versions can leave you open to vulnerabilities or lead to workflow inefficiencies.
Contact email@example.com to coordinate any upgrade that you need.
Most Recent New Customers: Welcome to the Network
Please welcome the following health care organizations to the Life Image network.
- Saint Francis Health System, Oklahoma. This health system is anchored by Saint Francis Hospital, a 1,112-bed tertiary center, which includes the region’s only children’s hospital and Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, a 168-bed heart hospital, and a trauma and emergency center. The system also includes Warren Clinic, Saint Francis Hospital South, Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital, Saint Francis Hospital Muskogee, Saint Francis Hospital Vinita, and Saint Francis Glenpool.
- Torrance Memorial Medical Center, California. Torrance Memorial Medical Center, which is affiliated with Cedars-Sinai, provides comprehensive medical services to patients in the South Bay region and beyond. The medical center’s care network includes an emergency department, four OB/GYN facilities, pediatric services, two urgent care centers, breast diagnostic centers, and primary care services at seven locations.
- Zenith American Solutions, Inc., Washington. Zenith American Solutions is the largest independent third-party administrator in the United States and currently operates at over 47 offices nationwide.
- Authentic 4D, National. A4D, one of the top injury claim assessment services in the United States, operates a workers’ comp DX and emerging automobile medical evaluation network. A significant part of their work relies on “release of records” activity, which generates a significant operational burden on our provider customers. With our deployment of A4D, we are striving to streamline this effort of complying with these types of requests and reduce the burden on our customers’ medical records departments.