The ability of a cardiologist to work remotely can save lives. By leveraging the advantages of a cloud-based cardiovascular information system (CVIS), cardiologists can promptly and efficiently assess and recommend an emergency cardio-related treatment plan, regardless of their location relative to the patient.
What Is a CVIS?
Because diagnoses are typically made from data collected by different equipment — X-rays, ECG, echocardiogram and others — information needed by the cardiologist may be stored in several systems and may even reside in different facilities. This complicates — and slows — the task of collecting and organizing all the relevant information required for an accurate assessment.
CVIS technology was introduced in the early 2000s to address those challenges, affording cardiologists convenient, remote access to multiple data and image files. Since then, the technology has evolved to deliver aggregated health studies compiled from all the information in its database to provide a more holistic overview of similar patient diagnoses and care plans. A CVIS is likened to a one-stop source for all things cardio, a knowledge base for the cardiology profession.
Someone who is trained to read echocardiograms and run reports off a cloud-based CVIS portal, such as Hitachi’s VidiStar, can utilize this archive to consult either onsite or remotely, synthesizing data, images and reports to more efficiently evaluate a case and recommend appropriate treatment based on other, similar cases.
Different Types of CVIS Platforms
Through a cloud-based CVIS design, specialists like David Braden M.D., pediatric cardiologist at Children’s of Mississippi Hospital, can advise on a case from anywhere in the world. In the absence of cloud technology, when cardiologists are off-property and requested to consult, certain data may be unavailable simply due to limited staff, time or resources to produce it.
“I read about 4,000 echos a year,” Braden says. “This includes looking at the pictures and generating reports. My assessment gets stored on a cloud-based web page and colleagues can open it up and look at it; techs can also access it right away, print it and get it to the referring physician.”
Braden notes that the application’s data can even be delivered to his cellphone. “VidiStar has an app for your mobile devices. For example, if I’m at a baseball game and they need me to read a report, I can access it there and then.”
The Benefits of using a Cardiovascular Informaton System
Braden offers a real-life example of CVIS in action. “In 2019, I finally got to take my wife to Europe. One pleasant evening, we were strolling the streets of Paris, and the nursery from a hospital in Mississippi called. They said, ‘We have a blue baby in Jackson.’ The situation was urgent. I pulled up the study on my phone and they got my answer right away. A lot of these echos are done stat — they need the answer as quickly as possible to know how to help.”
A long-time user of CVIS and a proponent for its ease of use, Braden cites three main benefits:
- Storing data for echocardiograms done in-office
- Generating reports for his own echos
- Reading echos for several hospitals with whom he consults
“There are tools built into it, so if you don’t have a measurement you need, you can go get it in the system. There are calipers built into the program, among other measurement tools.”
Braden also appreciates the training support he receives for his VidiStar system. “Hitachi came and showed us how it worked, let us play with it, and they come back periodically to introduce new features. It uses a pull-down menu, like most things these days. That makes it easy.”
In addition to providing near-instant data for urgent case consults, accessing a cloud-based CVIS is helpful for another purpose — the technology allows for more interactive learning among colleagues. Braden says, “I also do some teaching and present cases in conference. We’ve been able to load the Vidistar page from my clinic on their system at the conference site — it’s much easier than printing a report on paper to hand out or taking it over on a disc.”
CVIS technology has created an environment that enables faster and more precise case analysis. Being able to access that information from the cloud enables clinical experts to promptly address the needs of critical patients from anywhere in the world.
Editor's note: This blog is the first in a four-part series about the benefits of cardiovascular information systems. The second blog is here, and the third blog is here. The last article in the series is The Benefits of Data Analytics in Clinical Reporting. To learn more visit https://www.hitachihealthcare.com/it
- Grandview Research. Cardiovascular Information System Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By System Types (CVIS and CPACS), Mode Of Operation (Web-based, On-site and cloud-based) And Segment Forecasts, 2015 - 2024