IHE Radiology: Whats New in 2006?
Every year, Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) advances and expands the levels of multi-vendor integration by defining and testing new integration protocols. Rita Noumeir, PhD, CTO of Soft Medical and a member of the IHE Radiology Technical and Planning Committees, rolled out for meeting-goers the new radiology-specific integration profiles and options introduced in 2006 during an informatics demonstration held in the Lakeside Learning Center on Sunday.
IHE strives to change the way healthcare connects, and the new radiology integration profiles do just that. Noumeir explained to audience members the new profiles, the integration problems they address and the value they bring to connecting the healthcare enterprise. 
New radiology-specific integration profiles introduced in 2006 include:
  • IRWF (Import Reconciliation Workflow): According to Noumeir, this profile focuses on importing foreign information from a CD into the workflow of a radiology department. The new IRWF profile describes workflow details for the import of Portable Data for Imaging (PDI) media and non-digital data into the enterprise. 
  • FUS (Image Fusion): This profile explains how to register and display (or fuse) two image sets from different modalities, Noumeir said. The profile specifies communications between systems creating and registering image sets and systems displaying fused images. 
  • NMI (Nuclear Medicine Image) with a Cardiac Option: Cardiac viewing in nuclear medicine is suboptimal, Noumeir said. While NMI is not a new profile, the cardiac option is. It specifies synchronous viewing of several gated images or several projections of tomographic images, and the display of myocardial perfusion data. 
  • MAMMO (Mammography Image): This profile helps healthcare facilities to utilize multiple FFDM (full field digital mammography) systems and use another vendor – or their own - workstation for diagnosis. More specifically, Noumeir outlined that the profile specifies how acquisition modalities transfer FFDM images, how CAD systems act as evidence creators, and how image displays make use of images and CAD results.
Finally, Noumeir briefly addressed IHE growth in other domains such as IHE Eye Care, IHE Radiation Oncology and IHE Patient Care Devices.