RNSA 2021: Digital health’s role in redefining radiology

After a long COVID-related hiatus, I’m excited to be back on the road again, meeting with my radiology and diagnostic imaging colleagues at RSNA 2021 to discuss how our BrightInsight Platform™ can help in “redefining radiology,” the theme of this year’s conference.

RSNA is the world’s largest gathering of the radiology and diagnostic imaging community. This year, presenters and exhibitors are asked to share new ideas, perspectives, and experiences to help redefine what it means to work as a radiologist. First among these is promoting healthcare diversity, equity, and inclusion. Here at BrightInsight, we believe strongly in the incredible impact digital health applications can have on democratizing patient care and are committed to using our technology to advance that goal.

Other themes at RNSA 2021 include the use of artificial intelligence in applications ranging from computer-aided diagnosis to treatment planning; the ongoing evolution of connectivity and integration; new point-of-care imaging applications; and 3D printing and “mixed reality” – the integration of advanced visualization, holography, and virtual reality.

Achieving any of digital health’s projected gains in these areas means overcoming lots of new challenges. In our experience, some of the biggest in radiology/imaging involve unlocking legacy silos of data and systems that exist because manufacturers often tightly and independently control all elements of their products’ hardware, software, and user experience. As their technologies become more tightly integrated in the digital health ecosystem, leveraging standardized and scalable technology stacks like BrightInsight’s allows them to break down those silos, both within their product portfolios and across other the technologies and data systems they integrate with.

For example, BrightInsight is working with an oncology device company that approached us because its products didn’t effectively communicate with one another. They chose us based on our ability to host a globally scalable and regulated cloud platform. The BrightInsight Platform™ allows for seamless integration and one common user interface across their independently developed systems, including the ability to process and store DICOM imaging data by integrating with picture archiving and communication systems (PACS). Our client needed a partner who could handle the heavy lifting associated with managing the ongoing regulatory, privacy, security, and quality compliance for its platform.

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) recently published an excellent consensus report, “Appropriate use of public cloud computing for quality systems and medical devices,” that highlights the unique challenges medical device makers must address when producing a cloud-based product, especially in regulated use cases. A huge, and important, emphasis in the report is the critical need for effective and appropriately timed software validation procedures for Software as Medical Device (SaMD) products that will change much more frequently than a typical hardware-based medical device. BrightInsight’s cloud platform and its associated change management feature is tightly integrated with our quality management system. We work closely with our medical device/imaging company partners to incorporate these processes into their quality and software development infrastructures.

Developing the underlying global regulatory and cloud infrastructure for SaMD products can take a tremendous amount of time and resources, even for IT-savvy operations. BrightInsight has worked with numerous clients looking to take advantage of our focus on these aspects of their product development – with the ultimate goal of accelerating time-to-market and reducing overall development costs.

You can learn more about how we're supporting medical device/imaging companies as they strive to unlock better outcomes for patients by reading our white paper, “Harnessing the power of cloud computing in medtech.” BrightInsight will be at the RSNA conference from Nov. 29 – Dec. 1. Please feel free to reach out at jim.keller@brightinsight.com if you would like to set up a meeting with me or one of my colleagues during the conference. We hope to see you there. And if you won’t be in Chicago for RSNA, we’d be happy to virtually meet with you anytime.

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