Pic1: IDIME workflow in 2003

Pic1: IDIME workflow in 2003

Pic2: IDIME workflow in 2022

Pic2: IDIME workflow in 2022

A big player on the road to digitization – IDIME, Colombia

IDIME is the largest diagnostic imaging provider in Colombia and one of the largest in Latin America. They perform around 2 million imaging procedures per year at currently over 70 locations nationwide. What once started in 1989 with an office in Bogotá to provide tomography and magnetic resonance services for a polyclinic center has now become an indispensable player in the Colombian healthcare landscape.

To keep on extending their services and growing their business, IDIME has decided to future-proof their PACS infrastructure and – given the nearly twenty-year relationship and successful collaboration - approached IMAGE for help with this project.

Step by step towards digitization

In radiology, the communication with referring physicians is of utmost importance and should work flawlessly, as they are the customers of diagnostic imaging providers. With this in mind, IDIME had started their cooperation with IMAGE by purchasing the first picture archiving and communication system back in 2003. The initial iQ-SYSTEM PACS system was mainly used for digital reading of around 50 studies a day and for paper printing in addition to film. Later, IDIME stopped using film altogether.

Pic1: IDIME workflow in 2003

In 2010, IDIME started to share data via CD/DVD in addition to paper, and ten years later, in 2020, implemented IMAGE's digital PACS portal, iQ-WEB PORTAL, for data sharing in addition to CD/DVD. According to Mike Spielberger, Chief of Radiology Informatics at IDIME, the plan is to become fully digital in the future and to communicate digitally with all the stakeholders – patients, doctors and healthcare insurances alike.

IMAGE’s iQ-WEB PORTAL with its WADO option (Web Access to DICOM Objects) is an important step in this direction. All patients receive a user name and password to log in to their diagnostic results from the laboratory and the radiology department. They can view, download and print information as well as view their images in diagnostic quality. "A big and important step on the digitalization pathway", affirms Mike Spielberger.

Since January 2021, the digital realignment of the company is an essential item on IDIME’s agenda. The existing PACS software needed to be upgraded as they were facing an increasing number of PACS challenges due to the outdated medical IT as well as the higher study workload coming from a growing number of locations.

PACS challenges included:

  • Lack of upgrades to various devices over many years
  • Complexities of data traffic
  • Difficulties with the used compression formats
  • Security issues due to the age of the equipment

An up-to-date PACS infrastructure, please!

To overcome the current PACS issues, IMAGE was chosen to upgrade and expand IDIME’s PACS network. Under the contract, IDIME’s 105 iQ-VIEW workstations will be updated, and 11 new iQ-WEB PACS servers will be added to their already established network of 19 iQ-WEB servers, all of which support 65 imaging facilities across Colombia.

The project goals to be achieved are:

  • Replace old servers and update files
  • Speed up the workflow
  • Stabilize the entire connected system
  • Store and provide studies for more than 6 months
  • Ensure security for the company and users

In the future, IDIME will have a fully integrated solution where doctors can order healthcare services and medical data is shared electronically with insurances and patients.

Pic2: IDIME workflow in 2022

Update of the workstations and installation of the new servers will provide a faster and more stable workflow, including faster integration with IDIME’s homegrown RIS ATHENEA and faster opening of studies by use of the enhanced DICOM format. Additional functionality, such as the patient portal, will provide quick and easy communications between physicians, patients and health insurance providers.

Conducted remotely, installation of the new servers will take place immediately, with software updates to the workstations taking place over the next two years with no disruption in service expected.