The PACS business is not limited only to the sale of software and licenses. There are many interesting services and products that can be offered to all kinds of hospitals, imaging centers and even private practices in order to meet their demands for solutions related to medical image storage, distribution and resulting.
For example, IMAGE Information Systems’ sales partner IMSI of Philadelphia, PA and their reseller Med-Net of Buffalo, NY are active in the medical image hosting business, where they currently offer various institutions the opportunity to outsource the management of their medical imaging data storage. This means that their clients can minimize their costs, while continuing to enjoy permanent access to state-of-the-art technology, because they will pay a per study on-demand fee eliminating most sunk costs and avoiding the chores of informatics and information system administration, which are not their core business.
IMSI and Med-Net have collaborated in the establishment of several hosting sites to accommodate medical image storage and medical applications across the United States offering three types of hosting site configurations:
- Image storage and review
- Image storage and reporting
- RIS and PACS with storage
Image storage and review:
One site that services mainly “urgent care” centers has two tiers of PACS servers. One tier consists of several regional sites that each provide image store/forward and reader access for a collection of urgent care centers. Each region has their own group of reading radiologists that either read studies directly from the iQ-WEBX servers, or as downloaded to their iQ-VIEW stations, or as uploaded to their customary PACS at their various hospitals. The second tier is the iQ-WEBX archive store for all the urgent care centers.
Image storage and reporting:
A second type of site provides image archival and viewing. IMSI provides archive storage and viewing/reporting access to several major league team stadiums. The modalities located at the stadiums send their images directly to the iQ-WEBX hosted site and team doctors can view the images over the Web. iQ-WEBX provides secure access for each team and all visiting teams.
RIS and PACS with storage:
The third type of site provides complete hosted RIS and PACS services to a number of hospitals and clinics. Small and mid-sized hospitals and clinics send their imaging studies to a central PACS where they are archived and provided to the shared radiology group for reading/reporting. All RIS functions are supported including mammography tracking, billing interfaces, HIS interfaces, EMR interfaces, etc.
The radiologists use iQ-VIEW and iQ-X to read the cases. In some cases the hospitals/clinics prefer to retain their 3rd party PACS systems, therefore IMSI provides a direct interface between their PACS and the hosted RIS at the radiologist's workstation. This totally integrated hosting site also provides digital voice applications for the radiologist and complete transcriber support if they do not use voice recognition. High-quality cordless microphones are provided as part of the total solution. The aforementioned sites have been active for four years hosting over one million medical images.