While the announcement by Change Healthcare that it has partnered with Google Cloud to build a new collaborative imaging workflow for radiologists is peppered with high-tech lingo, the real reason is much more humanistic.
“Twenty or 30 years ago in health care, you would have two doctors of different disciplines standing in the elevator holding up a film talking about it,” George Kovacs, vice president of marketing in Imaging, Workflow & Care Solutions at Change Healthcare told HCB News. “When we made them sit down in front of computer screens we kind of lost that. We're trying to bring that back, that interactivity.”
He said that with a new functional platform, doctors could remotely begin talking to each other in real time again about cases to improve care. And while the concept can be loosely compared to the Google document sharing function, the planned platform to move large imaging data files via a large vendor-neutral cloud platform will be monumental.
“If we end up getting it wrong, you're going to have a very basic tool that everyone is fighting, and that's the last thing any of us need," explained Kovacs. “On the other hand, get it right, and the context itself becomes the value."
That context, he added, includes such factors as the right clinical context that addresses privacy concerns and gives the proper access to the right physicians. He also said that the Google platform would need to have the correct physician functionality to meet the needs of many specialists, including radiologists, surgeons and referring doctors.
“All of those doctors have different conversations,” said Kovacs.