Guest: Guillermo Sander
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Guillermo Sander is Konica Minolta’s Senior Strategic Marketing Manager, The Americas, and responsible for introducing the latest premium Digital X-ray detectors in the AeroDR product family. He has been involved in healthcare and IT for more than 20 years and is considered by many as a thought leader in understanding customer needs and developing creative and practical solutions that gain widespread acceptance in the market. Prior to Konica Minolta, Guillermo held marketing and product management roles at GE Healthcare, Anixter International and the telecommunications division for Pirelli Cables.
Segment overview: Guillermo Sander from Konica Minolta discusses the recent advances in diagnostic medical imaging overall and the related IT platforms.
Health Professional Radio – Medical Diagnostic Imaging
Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio. Thank you so much for joining us today. Konica Minolta Medical Imaging is a market leader in medical diagnostic primary imaging solutions and the company is focused on collaborating with healthcare providers across specialties and disciplines to vastly improve the use of primary imaging at the point of care. Primary imaging includes, digital radiology, ultrasounds and the like and our guest in studio today is Guillermo Sander, Konica Minolta’s Senior Strategic Marketing Manager. And he is here today to talk with us about some of the recent advances in diagnostic medical imaging overall and the related IT platforms that accompany those advancements. How are you doing Guillermo?
Guillermo Sander: Thank you very much, thanks for having me.
N: As a Konica Minolta Senior Strategic Marketing Manager what can you tell us briefly about some of the recent advancements in medical diagnostic imaging that your company has been involved in?
G: Well thank you very much Neal. There’s been a lot of really good improvements that have helped physicians and health care professionals improve not only their work flow in terms of speed, but also the clinical confidence to make faster and quicker diagnosis. With the primary imaging which is the first image we get before going to more advanced modalities, so we focus really on…
G: Your basic x-ray and ultrasound. And some of the things that have been happening because now we’re acquiring images digitally, we have come up with different image processing algorithms that very quickly allow you to do things like for example highlight catheters as they’re being placed to allow the physician to quickly see the right position.
N: Uh huh, great yeah.
G: Other things that we’re doing in ultrasound especially in the area of pain management. We have an ultrasound solution that’s very well suited for musculoskeletal and one of the main uses or more popular uses is pain management.
N: Pain management.
G: In one of our image enhancements allows the needle to be painted in the color blue, which if you see an ultrasound that’s…
N: Better imaging when it comes to say to the aspiration of joints or sacral iliac spine and they need that joint aspirated, better imaging than what we’ve seen in the last, I guess in the past 10 years?
G: Well there’s definitely been including improvements in image itself. You get better quality the algorithm are better, we can translate that sound wave into a better image quality.
G: But now as we get more advanced, if we can identify that needle to make sure, to differentiate that quickly so you can place the medicine or extract the liquid exactly from the joint or the area, the targeted area. It increases, well first of all it reduces the exam time significantly. Less time in pain is always good for everybody. But also increases the accuracy because you know exactly where the,
N: The fluid is, yeah?
G: The needle, where the fluid was supplied or removed, which is great. And it’s changing a lot of how some of the musculoskeletal doctors are approaching pain management.
N: Now when you were here in another segment you mentioned briefly that you’re instantly transmitting some of these images via the cloud, storing them in the cloud, instantaneous transmission from one location to the other. When we’re talking about the internet, Wi-Fi, security and what not, how HIPAA compliant are this new developments from Konica Minolta’s stand point? When it comes to HIPAA regulations and the transmission of this medical documents?
G: That’s one of our key areas of concern. The cloud offers a lot of advantages in terms of size and accessibility but the forefront of all of this is our cyber security.
G: And we do make sure that all of our information’s properly encrypted and safe because the last thing we want is to create a … of nightmare for customers by not providing the appropriate tool for HIPAA compliant. And in fact we invest a lot of our time not just to HIPAA compliance, but some of our more regulated customers that requires certain levels of security that are not run of the mill, think about the department of defense.
N: Not your normal every day, yeah. Not your normal every day security, your normal everyday virus protection, something above and beyond that.
G: Exactly, oh yes. So they are requiring very tight levels and we’re very proud that we have been able to meet all the requirements even exceeding some of our partners that integrate us as detectors into their solutions.
N: Now with the sweeping changes in healthcare here in the United States, with these advancements and the increased efficiency with this these systems and their related IT platforms, are you seeing an increase in premiums as far as insurance is concerned especially now that we all have to have insurance? What type of feedback are you getting from insurance companies say Medicaid, Medicare when it comes to covering the cost of some of these advances?
G: Frankly, it’s actually the opposite. There is a lot of pressure to provide quality care but to reduce the cost, the total cost to the system. So a lot of what we do is not focused on trying to generate additional reimbursement, because we focus on the primary aspect of it. We do things like for example highlighting the needles so the process is a lot quicker, we do other things like we just released a software call “Intelligent Grid” that simulates the use of a grid without having the physical grid, it’s just the image processing.
G: Which basically it improves the workflow so the radiology technician, the technologist that is actually performing the image does not have to stop, get a grid, put it on the detector to make the exposure, because it’s on electronically it helps improve the workflow and simplify the whole process of acquiring the image, precisely because everybody is pressured to provide more with less.
G: So a lot of what we do is to help them actually achieve more with less.
N: Now as we wrap up, I’ve got a question that is consumer oriented. How much of these advances in diagnostic imaging are designed to help the consumer more understand what their provider is using the image for or why it was taken in the first place?
G: We’re slowly getting there. The changes have been slightly a little fast and furious and I think we’re catching up. One of the things we’ve been doing to our approach to designing solutions which is to really understand the drivers from a costumer’s prospective is the one thing that we’re learning is that physicians are learning very quickly, that patients are more demanding. They’re taking control of their own health. We’re all lucky you know with the little bands that take a blood pressure and tell us that we did exercise enough for the day and we want our information.
N: We’re all doctor internet.
G: Yeah, so doctor internet is big and we are starting to develop better tools to populate patient portals, to help the patients understand the significance of the procedure that was done, what the image has been used for. And really help them understand what their diagnosis is and why the procedure was done.
N: Now what do you recommend clinicians to think about first and foremost when they’re thinking about diagnostic imaging changes within their own practices?
G: Well the one thing we’ve been investing a lot of time is to understand what outcomes are they looking for. In general, physicians are looking to improve not only patient outcomes which is a quicker diagnosis, a more comfortable office stay, all of that. But also their own practice, it’s been challenging to keep up with all the demands of the changing landscape, so doctors need to spend a little more time figuring out “Okay I need to improve this” and it’s a big task. So what we help them understand is, okay let’s try to find your priorities, what’s important to you? What’s keeping you up at night? And really focus our efforts in fixing the bigger problems first, and start paving the way so we can have a process in place to help our customers improve their practice along with the patient outcome.
N: And where can our listeners get more information about Konica Minolta and the diagnostic imaging research that you’re involved in?
G: Well the best place is our website it’s Konicaminolta.com/medicals
N: Great. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. We’ve been in studio talking with Guillermo Sander this afternoon, Konica Minolta Senior Strategic Marketing Manager in studio today with us, talking about the advances and diagnostic medical imaging overall and the related IT platforms involved. It’s been great having you here with us today and I’m hoping you’ll return to talk with us in future segments.
G: Thank you very much.
N: Transcript and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm and you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.