2) The year of the AI partnership
It seemed like every other announcement at RSNA this year was a partnership related to AI: GE Healthcare announced a partnership with NVIDIA
to bring NVIDIA’s AI solutions to GE’s imaging devices, Nuance and NVIDIA
teamed up for the Nuance AI Marketplace for Diagnostic Imaging and Philips came together with Nuance
to implement AI-based tools and help radiologists with interpretation and reporting.
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And after those in the industry expressed worry that Google and Amazon would take over health care, companies seem to be employing an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach, especially with Google, which had a booth at RSNA for the first time
Representatives from several companies spoke at an educational session about their use of Google Cloud to share images and analyze data.
3) Where’s the investment?
Amidst the hype surrounding AI at the show, there was some talk about physician payment reform, and at least one hospital executive asked an important question: How are facilities going to pay for this when the payment landscape is so uncertain?
“When you speak to my peers and really survey them and say, ‘How many of you in 2018 are going to be going out and writing big checks for AI?’ not a lot of them are raising their hands,” said Dr. Rasu Shrestha, chief innovation offer at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “There’s a lot of interest to play around with it and tinker with it and see what it’s all about. How do you pay for it is a really important question.”
Radiology departments are all too accustomed to being strapped for cash, so even if these new technologies will usher in a better workflow and improved patient outcomes, is it realistic to ask them to make that initial investment? As you may expect, OEMs have a fairly convincing answer to that question, (keep reading).
4) OEMs seek more consistent service-oriented relationships with hospitals
For imaging manufacturers, partnerships are taking the place of conventional sales. Almost every exhibitor at RSNA with a giant booth made similar statements about the importance of committing to customers along the workflow continuum as opposed to thinking of them as customers on a transactional level.