May 18, 2018
Radiology Today: Imaging Informatics: Democratizing Data
When the RSNA Image Share program was conceived, its creators viewed it as a way to demonstrate that standards-based interoperability among medical image repositories was possible and desirable—and eliminate the need for CDs in the process. Initially begun in 2011 as a joint project with the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, Image Share grew to incorporate nine vendors and several dozen hospitals and health care providers.
The idea behind the Image Share program was to allow providers to share medical images through standards-based, nonproprietary interfaces, regardless of which vendor they contract with for image management. Prior to RSNA 2016, the program validated nine vendors as having met its standards for interoperability and security: Acuo (now Hyland), Agfa Healthcare, Ambra, Dicom Systems, GE, Life Image, Mach7 Technologies, Novarad, and Siemens Healthineers. Despite its success, however, Image Share was always meant to be a pilot program, and it ended its run in March.
Although the RSNA Image Share program has officially ended, the program is moving to a new phase. Life Image, the architect of the program’s data sharing infrastructure, is expanding the effort as Clinical Connector. Clinical Connector builds on Image Share’s cloud-based clearinghouse concept to connect hospitals and health care providers with patients. Matthew Michela, the CEO of Life Image, says the expansion has been in the works for a while, and he believes Clinical Connector will accelerate the utilization of participants.
“The Image Share program demonstrated the clinical value in sharing,” Michela says. “We want to make sure that we continue in the spirit of providing a vendor-neutral, standards-based capability to exchange images for hospitals, for patients, and for anybody in the industry who wants to participate.”
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