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What Radiology Industry Leaders Think the Future Holds

RSNA is well under way, and several announcements have already been made that will shape the future of radiology. The most important so far has been the announcement of the GE Health Cloud.

The first industry-specific cloud built on GE’s Predix, GE Health Cloud is an ecosystem that will offer scalable and secure solutions designed exclusively for the healthcare industry, turning imaging into insight, and insights into action.

“Radiology is going to be in great demand and we are going to have to be ready. It’s that simple,” said Dr. Ronald L. Arenson, M.D., President of RSNA, this morning. “We have work to do if technology is going to meet its promise for the future – work that requires managing change as much as embracing it.”

Today, GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt and GE Healthcare CEO John Flannery led a panel discussion on the technology and services that drive outcomes and lead to better health.

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Joining the conversation were Dr. Rueben Devlin, CEO of Humber River Regional Hospital, North America’s first fully digital hospital, and Dr. Rasu Shrestha, Chief Innovation Officer at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Talking about the role of information and outcomes moving forward into the uncharted waters of Big Data, Flannery commented, “Trying to marry technology investment with digital, and partnering with our customers to deliver the outcomes, will give us better clinical analyses, better costs and clinical treatments. Ultrasound and MR, for instance, can deliver huge value when married to IT. The GE Health Cloud is going to transform the industry massively.”

Devlin said, “it’s important for us to have interoperability between al our equipment, be it MR, CT, or cardiac equipment, to have all the data available. The next question is, what are we going to do with all that data once we have it?”

This question has become a key theme for this year’s meeting, and Dr. Shrestha is confident that the way we use these reams of new data will reap significant rewards when coupled with the computing power of the GE Health Cloud.

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“At UPMC, we’re definitely seeing a lot of data, and this is the trend in the industry,” he said. “We’ve moved from analog to digital. We have over 8.5 petabytes of data [at UPMC], and that doubles every 24 months. How do we make it more actionable so we can benefit the lives of the patients we’re treating?”

“In the last several decades, [radiologists have] slowly started to come out of the dark corners of the reading rooms,” added Dr. Shrestha. “The future of imaging is going to be value-based. Working with a partner like GE to go from vision to execution is what we need. The future of healthcare will be built on the shoulders of these strong partnerships.”

Flannery added that the Health Cloud will give healthcare professionals more space to interact on a one-to-one level with patients and their families, while it takes care of the processing, paperwork and screen-time that so often causes a disconnect between physicians and their patients. “I think [the Health Cloud] is going to make [healthcare professionals] more aware of what they’re doing, the choices they have. That will change the face of the industry, shifting the continuum of healthcare to wellness.”

Immelt concluded that, while the hardware and physical tools at physicians’ disposal are still important, “what’s important now is to turn that into value and quality.”