Voice and language solutions specialist Nuance Communications announced it has achieved a milestone in sharing 3 billion medical images through the company’s PowerShare Network, which provides secure, cloud-based medical image access that requires no virtual private network (VPN) or onsite servers.
The PowerShare Network makes patient images and associated diagnostic reports available anywhere at any time through the cloud leveraging the company’s PowerScribe 360 reporting and communication platform.
"When delivering patient care, it’s crucial to have the most updated patient information at your fingertips," Christy Murfitt, director of diagnostic solutions marketing for Nuance, told eWEEK. "Putting this information onto CDs is not the answer, but it’s still the common practice. Too often, image files are corrupt, or CDs are lost or forgotten. To reduce the escalating costs of health care and improve patient care, providers are choosing cloud-based image sharing. It gives them easy access to the information they need so they can focus on the patient without contributing to delays in care."
The PowerShare medical imaging network securely connects physicians, patients, government agencies, specialty medical societies and others with the information needed to support improved clinical decision-making and enhanced patient outcomes.
It is used by more than 2,000 provider organizations, including Children’s of Alabama, Intermountain Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente of Georgia and Orlando Health to improve care coordination.
Using a cloud-based medical imaging platform, clinical decisions can actually begin when the image arrives—which can be well before the patient.
In addition, care can be better coordinated, as all members of the care team have immediate access to the same images, including on mobile devices--according to a recent HIMSS survey, 70 percent of clinicians use mobile devices to view patient information.
Continuing advancements in mobile technology are allowing physicians to connect with one another to facilitate care transitions and improve care coordination across the continuum.
Murfitt said better patient care relies on better clinician coordination, and mobile technology helps make that possible. Murfitt noted mobile technology also gives physicians easier access to electronic health records (EHRs), which allows them to document patient care, order labs and complete other critical tasks in the way that fits best into their workflow.
"We’re still in the early stages of cloud-based medical image sharing. In the past few years, providers have begun to use the technology and it’s started to gain widespread adoption and physician and IT support. There’s a lot of promise on the horizon," Murfitt said. "By use of the cloud for medical image sharing, we’re opening up tons of quality, structured data for analytics, benchmarking and reporting of key quality metrics."
Murfitt added there are also a lot of additional opportunities to layer on additional services to the cloud-based network services beyond images to support providers, regulatory bodies and organizations.