Whilst the Internet of Things has received considerable publicity in the public sphere, with devices such as Nest promising smarter management of our homes, the real progress has been made in industrial machinery. It is increasingly common for factories to connect up all manner of devices to provide managers with a level of data and insight that would have previously been impossible to fathom.
A major supporter of this move is the industrial behemoth GE, so it’s perhaps no surprise that they are looking to do similar things with the medical devices that adorn our hospitals.
GE Healthcare has teamed up with Trice Imaging, a cloud based startup that provides medical imaging solutions. The partnership aims to support clinicians by allowing them to connect up with both colleagues and patients more effectively.
Central to the partnership is a new solution called Tricefy, which provides services such as diagnostic collaboration, remote reviewing, image sharing and Electronic Health Record (EHR) integration via GE’s Ultrasound Women’s Health product.
Smarter medical imaging
“With clinicians and patients increasingly demanding seamless access to medical imaging, we’re committed to providing simple solutions that are not only clinically intuitive, but also make the care process more fluent,” GE say. “The Tricefy solution does just that, as it meets a growing need by clinicians to collaborate with remote colleagues and share examination results with patients.”
The new offering allows clinicians to access both the images and associated reports from anywhere, before then collaborating on them with colleagues. Patients, meanwhile, can receive high quality images of their baby on any device, whether phone, laptop or tablet, together with any associated reports or videos from the ultrasound.
“We are honored that GE Healthcare has chosen Trice as its partner to further accelerate the Company’s cloud-enabled healthcare initiative,” said Asa Nordgren, CEO and Co-founder of Trice Imaging told me recently. “The integration of Tricefy on GE Healthcare’s exceptional devices, as well as their global presence and renowned sales force, will further support and accelerate our commitment to delivering state-of-the-art service to healthcare providers and their patients around the world. Together with GE Healthcare, we look forward to exploring innovative ways to connect medical devices to the cloud and providing access to medical image data anytime, anywhere.”
Of course, a challenge for projects like this will be in the creation of common data standards that apply equally in the US, EU and other markets around the world that have very different approaches to patient data.
At the moment it’s probably fair to say that most scanners provide far more data than is used, and should we get to a stage where this machine data is coupled with patient data and it becomes a potent mix indeed.
Healthcare represents a particularly unique challenge in this instance, as so much legacy data exists in so many different formats. With most equipment manufacturers plowing their own furrow, it seems that perhaps standardization may be a little way off, but there are countless examples of the value in doing this, especially with so many machine learning based healthcare start-ups literally crying out for data to work with.
Overall, whilst there are clearly enormous challenges to overcome, this is a positive step in the right direction, and it will be a nice project to track.