Maintaining the best possible environment within an OR requires multiple levels of organization, with keen attention required to the particulars of a procedure and the array of tools that are laid out for the task at hand. Increasingly, it also means juggling different video and data feeds with the snapping skill comparable to technicians in the control room of an NFL broadcast.
This demanding and vital AV and IT component of OR work is the bailiwick of Image Stream Medical. And the company’s skill at developing image management solutions is surely what inspired Olympus to acquire Image Stream Medical, a deal that was announced in the spring of 2017.
Olympus is well known for imaging and optical technologies. As they tell it, bringing Image Stream Medical into the fold was a natural next step.
“Image Stream’s expertise includes a deep knowledge of IT, enterprise integration, and image management solutions,” says Randy Clark, group vice president of the surgical business unit at Olympus.
As is the case with many fields, communication is key in the healthcare environment. The solutions provided by Image Stream Medical don’t only serve those who’ve scrubbed up for a procedure. Visual data is shared throughout a facility and among different teams and consulting physicians.
“We adapt our solutions to customer’s clinical workflows, not requiring users to change how they provide patient care,” says Clark. “Our goal is to facilitate collaboration by making it easy for clinicians to connect with each other and with clinically relevant information, at the moment of care across the entire enterprise. We’re not trying to recreate the workflow. We’re not saying, ‘This is what you have to change to utilize the Image Stream and Olympus solution.’ We want to plug in and integrate seamlessly with their existing workflows. Users are going to know their workflow best. We don’t want to disrupt that. At the end of the day, it’s all about connection. That connection across the enterprise differentiates what Image Stream can do.”
While its MedPresence telemedicine offering, along with other of Image Stream tools, can facilitate more efficient workflow, the company avoids trying to insert itself into the carefully calibrated protocol decisions made in individual healthcare facilities.
To that end, Image Stream’s tools are completely vendor neutral, designed to work with whatever systems are already in place. Coming under the banner of Olympus doesn’t change that.
“What we promise and what we want to stay true to is the requirement of vendor neutrality,” says Clark. “We have to stay true to each customer’s requirement, both today and in the future. You do want efficiencies, you do want to take costs out of the system. But what’s important to us is that customers have a choice. And it’s our priority to work with all vendors the customer selects.”
That adaptability allows Image Stream system to easily find a place in any healthcare environment, even highly complex hybrid ORs.
It’s slick technology, to be sure. But its success is ultimately less about the flashy tools and more about the people interacting with it.
“MedPresence allows a hospital to assemble a team of experts no matter where they’re located by leveraging these experts into that team environment,” says Clark. “And obviously it protects the patient care environment.”
As with the most valuable tools that have been added to the OR in recent years, the real goal of MedPresence is making it easier for healthcare professionals to do their important, life-saving work.