I have long been an advocate for the closer integration of the diagnostic departments in hospitals, specifically and primarily pathology and radiology. One of the most important byproducts of such an integration is the ability to publish integrated diagnostic reports (see: Development of Integrated Diagnostic Servers by Pathology and Radiology; INTEGRATED DIAGNOSTICS & INTEGRATED DIAGNOSTIC SERVERS: THE PERSPECTIVE OF A PATHOLOGIST). There have been few departments or healthcare companies that have been willing to pursue such a goal. However, XIFIN and vRad have recently announced a partnership with an eye toward exactly this (see: XIFIN and vRad Partner to Integrate Pathology and Radiology Workflows for Consolidated Diagnostic Reports). Here's the most important passage from their recent press release:
While pathology and radiology workflows have traditionally been independent of each other, the accelerated adoption of digital pathology, similar to the digital transformation radiology experienced in the 2000s, has opened the opportunity for both companies to develop the CDR [consolidated diagnostic report] using their existing technology platforms: XIFIN’s ProNet, a comprehensive online information and digital consultation forum for global pathology; and vRad’s patented clinical and imaging global platform that is the world’s biggest and most advanced teleradiology PACS, moving over 1.3 billion radiology images in 2014.
Here's more information about vRad, the dominant company in teleradiology including information including data about its volume of work:
vRad (Virtual Radiologic) is a global telemedicine company and the nation’s leading radiology practice with over 350 U.S. board-certified physicians, 75% of whom are subspecialty trained. [The company] interprets over 5 million patient studies annually—and process over 1 billion images on the world’s biggest and most advanced teleradiology PACS—for our 2,100+ client hospital, health system and radiology group facilities.
Let me quickly summarize what I think are the two most important features of the model plus the expertise to make it hum:
- LIS Anywhere from XIFIN, a cloud-based AP-LIS including support for molecular pathology and FISH, flow, and cytogenetics.
- ProNet from XIFIN, a network of surgical pathology consultants, many from academic centers, who provide secondary consults using either over-nighted glass slides or digital images.
- Expertise in workflow both from XIFIN and from vRad, the latter company having mastered this on the radiology side by working for many years in a global, distributed teleradiology environment. There have also been rumors that vRad may move into the digital pathology market which would be a logical extension of its current services.
I would be remiss unless I emphasized the major payoff from the pursuit of integrated diagnostics and a consolidated diagnostic report (CDR). To state one obvious example, such a report could include the description of a mass in the lung from radiology, the pathology report of the results of a lung biopsy of the lesion, and the results of relevant tumor biomarkers. I understand that such results are not always available for reporting simultaneously but the presence of an integrated diagnostic server developed and managed by pathology and radiology and running algorithms relating to diagnostic studies could solve this synchronization problem INTEGRATED DIAGNOSTICS & INTEGRATED DIAGNOSTIC SERVERS: THE PERSPECTIVE OF A PATHOLOGIST. It could constantly scan patient diagnostic results in its database and generate an updated report as soon as any new results become available with relevant new conclusions.