ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN CHT MAGAZINE
VANCOUVER – Vancouver Imaging, a group of over 70 radiologists, has signed on to use RealTime Medical’s smart workload-balancing, physician skills development and error-avoidance platform. Vancouver Imaging, which provides reading services for hospital and out-of-hospital imaging centres, will implement the system in the first half of 2020 at its non-hospital clinics.
Vancouver Imaging offers a wide variety of sub-specialty readings across all disciplines, including specialized expertise in emergency trauma radiology. The organization is the only group of radiologists in Canada offering around-the-clock, on-site, sub-specialty emergency reading services.
“Emergency radiology is itself a sub-specialty and requires a unique set of skills,” said Dr. Savvas Nicolaou (pictured), the CEO of Vancouver Imaging and director of Emergency & Trauma Imaging at Vancouver General Hospital. “It’s unpredictable, with frequent interruptions. You often have to work with a limited amount of information from clinicians, and it can include everything from head-to-toe, including mass casualty situations that require proactive decision-making.”
He added, “You’re always on, and never off.” The Emergency & Trauma sub-specialty requires “appropriate, patient-centered judgement in a matter of seconds.”
Vancouver Imaging will deploy RealTime Medical’s AICloudWorks and AICloudQA platforms within their clinics. Collectively, the offerings encompass several AI applications, including high throughput workload balancing.
RealTime Medical holds the U.S. and Canadian patents for its workload balancing algorithms and is one of only two patent holders for diagnostic workload balancing, along with the U.S. company, Virtual Radiologic.
The cases are assigned to the appropriate radiologists based on sub-specialty, current workload and other parameters, creating an intelligent, diagnostic operations platform that is “context-aware,” a term originally coined by RealTime Medical to describe the capabilities of the platform.
For example, radiologists with expertise in neurology will be the first to receive neuro cases, while thoracic or pediatric experts will be the first to receive cases of that type. The system also “balances” the work, to ensure that radiologists are receiving equal caseloads, subject to the case-specific service levels and business parameters established by the group.
“The AI additions to this proven platform make it even more advantageous for us as a group as we pursue the delivery of Emergency Radiology services globally,” said Dr. Nicolaou, a world-renowned expert in Emergency & Trauma radiology, often referred to as the Founder and Pioneer of Emergency/Trauma Radiology in Canada.
Dr. Nicolaou noted that AICloudWorks is vendor-neutral and can work with any HL7 and DICOM-based HIS, RIS and PACS solutions. “PACS integration can be very problematic,” said Dr. Nicolaou. “Being vendor-neutral is important to our flexibility as a group.” Vendor neutrality is important to Vancouver Imaging as their current environment includes workflows across multiple PACS solutions.