Overview

Healthcare industry is growing at a tremendous pace owing to its   strengthening coverage, services and increasing expenditure by   public as well private players.  During 2008-20, the market is expected to record a CAGR of   16.5 per cent.  The total industry size is expected to touch US$ 160 billion by   2017 and US$ 280 billion by 2020.  To keep pace with this growth Information Technology has also taken rapid stride to implement newer Technology. We are also implementing newer technology like DiCOM, PACS and EHR and integrating it with HIMSystems.

Focus On

Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) is a standard for handling, storing, printing, and transmitting information in medical imaging. It includes a file format definition and a network communications protocol. The communication protocol is an application protocol that uses TCP/IP to communicate between systems. DICOM files can be exchanged between two entities that are capable of receiving image and patient data in DICOM format. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) holds the copyright to this standard. It was developed by the DICOM Standards Committee, whose membersare also partly members of NEMA.

DICOM enables the integration of scanners, servers, workstations, printers, and network hardware from multiple manufacturers into a picture archiving and communication system (PACS). The different devices come with DICOM conformance statements which clearly state which DICOM classes they support. DICOM has been widely adopted by hospitals and is making inroads in smaller applications like dentists' and doctors' offices.

DICOM is known as NEMA standard PS3, and as ISO standard 12052:2006 "Health informatics -- Digital imaging and communication in medicine (DICOM) including workflow and data management".

Derivations

There are some derivations from the DICOM standard into other application areas. These include:

  • DICONDE - Digital Imaging and Communication in Non-destructive Evaluation, was established in 2004 as a way for non-destructive testing manufacturers and users to share image data.
  • DICOS - Digital Imaging and Communication in Security was established in 2009 to be used for image sharing in airport security

Image Display

To promote identical grayscale image display on different monitors and consistent hard-copy images from various printers, the DICOM committee developed a lookup table to display digitally assigned pixel values. To use the DICOM grayscale standard display function (GSDF),images must be viewed (or printed) on devices that have this lookup curve or on devices that have been calibrated to the GSDF curve

  • Store
  • Storage commitment
  • Query/Retrieve
  • Modality worklist
  • Modality performed procedure step
  • Printing
  • Off-line media (files)

 

PACS

picture archiving and communication system (PACS) is a medical imaging technology which provides economical storage and convenient access to images from multiple modalities (source machine types). Electronic images and reports are transmitted digitally via PACS; this eliminates the need to manually file, retrieve, or transport film jackets. The universal format for PACS image storage and transfer is DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine). Non-image data, such as scanned documents, may be incorporated using consumer industry standard formats like PDF (Portable Document Format), once encapsulated in DICOM. A PACS consists of four major components: The imaging modalities such as X-ray plain film (PF), computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a secured network for the transmission of patient information, workstations for interpreting and reviewing images, and archives for the storage and retrieval of images and reports. Combined with available and emerging web technology, PACS has the ability to deliver timely and efficient access to images, interpretations, and related data. PACS breaks down the physical and time barriers associated with traditional film-based image retrieval, distribution, and display.

 

EHR

An electronic health record (EHR), or electronic medical record (EMR), refers to the systematized collection of patient and population electronically-stored health information in a digital format.These records can be shared across different health care settings. Records are shared through network-connected, enterprise-wide information systems or other information networks and exchanges. EHRs may include a range of data, including demographics, medical history, medication and allergies, immunization status, laboratory test results, radiology images, vital signs, personal statistics like age and weight, and billing information.

EHR systems are designed to store data accurately and to capture the state of a patient across time. It eliminates the need to track down a patient's previous paper medical records and assists in ensuring data is accurate and legible. It can reduce risk of data replication as there is only one modifiable file, which means the file is more likely up to date, and decreases risk of lost paperwork. Due to the digital information being searchable and in a single file, EMR's are more effective when extracting medical data for the examination of possible trends and long term changes in a patient. Population-based studies of medical records may also be facilitated by the widespread adoption of EHR's and EMR's

Health Information Exchange

  • Technical and social framework that enables information to move electronically between organizations

Using an EMR to read and write a patient's record is not only possible through a workstation but, depending on the type of system and health care settings, may also be possible through mobile devices that are handwriting capable,tablets and smartphones. Electronic Medical Records may include access to Personal Health Records (PHR) which makes individual notes from an EMR readily visible and accessible for consumers