Patients today have become active agents of their health. Their attitudes and behavior toward how they perceive and address their well-being or illnesses have changed since the year 2020. Taking an active role, they prefer to track their health and use the data gathered to make informed decisions, before visiting a doctor. With these changing trends, early detection and diagnosis within the healthcare sector have sought greater attention today. It has managed to alter healthcare by lowering costs, improving the quality of care and delivering timely treatment.
But there are still existing pitfalls within the way that the medical imaging services are delivered, which fail to align with the patient’s needs satisfactorily. For instance, even if an individual scan is performed successfully, the reports take longer to arrive, leading to a delay in treatment. In addition, the results from these reports can only be read and interpreted by a few people which increases the chances of unavoidable medical errors and poor clinical decision-making.
Addressing the matter, Vital Radiology has evolved as one of the medical imaging solution providers, known for its quality assurance and innovative digital healthcare. Its state-of-art technology uses industry standard, enterprise-level, PACS and Voice recognition systems to produce high-quality reports. Through its quality assurance feature, the company has reported over 500,000 scans worldwide annually, thus demonstrating a promising future for the company to fulfil its mission of developing a world-class innovative digital healthcare service and positively impacting the patient care pathway.
In an interview with Insights Care, Dr. Arun Chauhan, the Founder talks about the journey of Vital Radiology, in providing quality reporting services and improving treatment measures for patients.
Following are the excerpts from the interview.
What was your inspiration behind venturing into Radiography?
My source of inspiration recognized the problems that exist within medical imaging and how they impact health outcomes globally. There is a huge backlog and bottleneck as pictures are continuously taken, but there are very few people who can read and report. Even when the scan is done, the report doesn’t come for a long time, which causes a delay in treatment. By background, I am a clinician, and so I am keenly aware of the importance and value of diagnostics and early diagnosis especially. This is a global problem, not just a UK problem, and if we want to improve the quality of care across the globe, it is hugely important that we diagnose diseases as early as possible. It was my recognition of this problem and my desire to provide a solution that could accelerate the diagnostics and diagnosis process and therefore provide better care to the public which acted as my inspiration to venture into the medical imaging niche.
Please tell us about your journey, highlighting your contribution to Vital Radiology Service’s success.
Although I am qualified as a GP, I have also moved to technology. Hence my profile is a combination of healthcare and IT. I’ve now been working in teleradiology and diagnostics for over 20 years. When I began working in teleradiology, I saw that there was a lot of inefficiency in the system, and I could see that this was due to technology not being used optimally. I started on a small scale and have increasingly worked towards a global view of the market and its problems, and then began to think about a solution that could influence global issues. I started Vital Radiology and got together a very good team in the UK and India, and in the last year, we partnered with I-MED Radiology, which is one of the largest radiology companies in the world. Since then, we have been in heavy expansion mode.
Being the founder of Vital Radiology, I’ve gained a lot of insight into the market, and it’s been a very interesting journey. It gives me a lot of satisfaction, especially knowing that the work we do helps people.
Please elaborate on the core values, mission, and vision that the company operates on.
We have four core values on which our organization is built; these are as follows:
- Transparency: We aim to be transparent in everything we do, providing clear information and feedback to stakeholders and customers.
- Efficiency: Delivering efficient solutions to the medical sector through improved workflows and dashboard analytics.
- Quality: Improving and sustaining a quality reporting platform through regulated checks and balances is paramount.
- Reliability: Creating and sustaining reliable integrations provides reporting inside time parameters and visibility and presence when we are needed.
Our mission is to bring together the best people dedicated to providing and developing a world-class innovative digital healthcare service that positively impacts patient care and pathways.
What are the key products and services that make Vital Radiology stand out in the market?
Vital Radiology stands out in three main ways:
Firstly, our platform integrates into NHS systems, which means they provide the full context of patients’ history and prior images; therefore, we give the full picture of the patient.
Secondly, our technology is unique: we have a unique dashboard that is designed specifically for the needs of NHS trusts and provides full visibility on cases. We also have an automated workflow management technology that reduces manual input and administrative tasks.
Finally, we recruit only the best radiologists, and because we have teams in Australia and India, we can provide reports around the clock.
Please elaborate on the technological innovation that the company incorporates when catering to the dynamic needs of Radiology.
I strongly believe that healthcare and technology work hand in hand, and that organizations that are at the forefront of using technology in their service provisions are going to be leading the healthcare space going forward. This is the key focus that we have at Vital Radiology.
Through our innovative RadiCube technology, we provide a fully optimized solution to ensure every step of the reporting process happens seamlessly. RadiCube displays the status of all studies sent i.e., the number sent, the number reported, urgent findings, etc. Ultimately, this helps to reduce the time administration staff need to spend on chasing up this type of information. By utilizing a fully automated system we reduce the need for human intervention across the reporting pathway, an approach which helps to reduce the clinical risks involved in radiology reports – providing more accurate and timely results for patients.
In addition to this, our innovative RadiCube technology integrates directly with NHS systems, providing the reporting radiologist with secure access to the patient’s prior images. With the full content of the patient’s history available, Vital supports more informed clinical decisions and the creation of higher-quality reports.
What challenges does the company face when delivering services? How does it turn them into opportunities for growth?
We are experiencing a unique situation where the challenges radiology services are currently facing are also those which are providing a significant opportunity for growth. According to the most recent census released by the Royal College of Radiologists, the UK is currently short of 1,669 clinical radiologists, with 200 vacancies being unfilled for over a year. Though this problem is not unique to the UK. Across the globe, we are experiencing a growing shortage of radiologists and unless urgent action is taken it is problem which is projected to worsen. Ultimately, this means slower results for patients and further delays in starting treatment.
The technological innovation Vital incorporates across its platform means we can help to address some of these problems. For example, we have extended our services to provide full out-of-hours emergency reporting offered through the Moonlight service (runs from 20:00 to 08:00 7 days a week). In under a 30-minute time frame, we can have a consultant radiologist available and ready to be a part of the service offering providing reports within 30 minutes for stroke and trauma and 60 minutes for all other examination types. When a scan is received, Vital’s advanced technology auto-filter directs scans to the most appropriate radiologist with training and expertise in that area. This step ensures that high-quality and efficient reports are provided to patients, equipping them with the answers they need to move along the care pathway.
Apart from your journey, how do you envision further strengthening Vital Radiology’s stronghold in 2023 and beyond?
We have the intention of expanding geographically beyond the 7 countries that we currently cater to. We plan to expand to new continents such as Africa, Europe and Asia. We also have the intention of developing different types of services, for example, specialist services, such as lung and heart screening programs, specialist cancer reporting services and nuclear medicine. This will involve bringing in lots of new specialist radiologists, and we are building a team to meet these needs.
Please highlight some of the awards/recognitions that may depict your company’s position in the market.
We are proud that Vital’s high-quality service offering has led to us being accredited and recognized by multiple agencies. Currently, we are CQC regulated, approved by the Information Commissioner’s Office and ISO certified. As a further reflection of Vital’s high standards, our software systems are certified by Cyber Essentials and recognized as being compliant with the Health and Social Care Network.
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