April 2014

Among all emerging trends, PACS will stay

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Vivek Kumar Verma, Business Head, RIS/PACS and Advanced Visualization, Siemens Healthcare talks to Rajesh K Sharma of Elets News Network (ENN) the growing adoption of RIS/PACS and advanced visualization in Indian hospitals

What is the present state of RIS/ PACS segment in India? Are Tier II & III cities and smaller towns adopting these technologies?

RIS/PACS primarily provides a platform for the automation and digitization of Radiology Patient Workflow, image viewing, archiving and distribution in a filmless environment.

The RIS/PACS segment in South Asia is maturing gradually. Few government institutes and corporate hospitals are more focused on the Workflow Automation in Radiology Departments hence RIS/PACS implementations bring digitization into daily workflow. Tier II and Tier III are still to catch up for the RIS/PACS workflow, but they have advanced in the adoption of advanced visualization for 3D pre-processing.

How important is pricing for RISPACS solutions, in the in Indian context?

In Indian context, RIS/PACS have a major role to play in the overall digitization of the patient workflow in radiology departments to replace the paper-based manual workflow.

South Asia being a price sensitive market, hospitals always look for cost effective solutions to improve their workflow efficiency. As we observed in the last couple of years, customers have invested more in advance visualization solutions than just simple RIS/PACS.

How are government hospitals adopting these technologies vis-à-vis private hospitals?

Large government institutes with dedicated Radiology Departments have been the early adopters of RIS/ PACS solutions and advanced visualizations, and are the trendsetters in the digitizing the radiology workflow. In recent times, private hospitals have also started adopting these solutions. Eventually, large hospital chains will push this sector’s growth.

What is the present scale of the healthcare technologies in the IT market?

In Healthcare IT currently, global trends are adopting a client-server based advance multi-modality preprocessing, apart from archiving, distributing images and creating reports using RIS/PACS. This trend is being seen in India as well, as major institutes have adopted advance visualisation 3D pre-processing for faster and more accurate diagnosis for the increasing number of examinations done per day. Siemens has a client server 3D advanced visualization and pre-processing solution called syngo. via platform. The syngo.via platform is helping the Radiology and Nuclear Medicine community to provide faster and accurate diagnosis and is leading the market in South Asia.

Are hospitals closer to improving their healthcare delivery by going all-digital and introducing RIS-PACS solutions?

Hospitals have realized the need for workflow automation and are bringing in not only RIS/PACS solutions, but also, advanced 3D visualization pre-processing for faster diagnosis of routine and complex cases , as the key to improving the overall efficiency in patient care.

How have advances like improved connectivity, cloud storage, Teleradiology impacted the RIS/PACS segment?

The advancement of Tele Radiology and cloud storage is highly dependent on the [increasing] connectivity and its [decreasing] costs. Hence, it is gradually helping in adoption of Tele- Reporting in emergency case.

“Large government institutes with dedicated Radiology Departments have been the early adopters of RIS/PACS solutions and advanced visualizations, and are the trendsetters in the digitizing the radiology workflow”

Is RIS/PACS here to stay as part of the ongoing transformation of the healthcare segment?

Among all the emerging trends, PACS is going to stay, but the speedy adoption of HIS (hospital Information systems), integrating RIS module into it has brought the PACS-HIS interface more in acceptance with reputed vendors. For hospitals with non-standard HIS, RIS integrated with PACS is still desired.

Please provide us an overview of the R&D at Siemens for the healthcare sector.

Focusing on innovations in the Image Management and Reporting Solutions, Siemens is providing cutting edge solutions for various segments globally. As a result of R&D, the latest adoption of client server solutions for 3D pre-processing for multi-modality image reading and distribution is growing. Siemens is one of the leading companies in South Asia in healthcare imaging IT, covering RIS/PACS and advanced visualization for our customers.

What is your prediction for this market in the next decade in India? What are the growth contributors in the industry?

Healthcare IT connectivity awareness is growing primarily due to IT awareness across segments with the mobile, tablet revolution in India, Tier II and Tier III markets also would adopt the benefits of RIS/PACS and advance visualization solutions for all segments including mobile applications.

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