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Looking for Imaging's Missing Link

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, May 17, 2011

Both use the same foundation—the Cross-enterprise Document Sharing for Imaging (XDS-I) profile, created by Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) International, an initiative by healthcare professionals and industry to improve the way computer systems in healthcare share information.

One common theme among projects under development is that they're patient-centered and patient-controlled. The idea is that if patients have more power over who sees their images they'll also be more engaged in their own care and work more collaboratively with their various providers. That, in turn, should improve quality of care.  

"Patient involvement will facilitate much easier solutions," says Yaorong Ge, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of biomedical engineering and part of the Wake Forest research team.

Another overarching goal of these programs—and others like them—is to create technologies that are easily accessible and affordable for providers in rural and underserved areas. Wake Forest's Carr says improved efficiencies should help pay for the technology—his team is working to quantify that. Ge adds that the government push to improve broadband coverage combined with intelligent algorithms such as prefetching and streaming, will help speed up image transfer.

Read more about the RSNA and Wake Forest programs in The Trouble with Image Sharing, published in this month's issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

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