Health Level Seven or HL7 is an international standard for guiding the transfer of clinical, medical, and administrative data such as scans, medical imaging data, etc between software applications used by various medical and healthcare providers. HL7 messages are typically used to store patient and laboratory records or billing information.
DICOM® — Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine — is the international standard to transmit, store, retrieve, print, process, and display medical imaging information. The DICOM standard enables imaging devices and information systems from different manufacturers to work with each other. The DICOM files typically have ‘.dcm’ as a file name extension. To interpret these files and display them in image format a DICOM viewer is used.
PACS stands for Picture Archiving and Communication System. PACS is a medical imaging technology that helps radiologists upload or exchange the DICOM files, read the scans in the workstation, and archive them in secure storage. It has several benefits over the traditional method. Such as no usage of paperwork, enhanced analysis & viewing, and better data management.
Radiology Information System (RIS)
Radiology Information System is a software specially designed for radiology departments. It is used for radiology workflow management and a computerized database for radiology departments. It helps in easy archiving and retrieval of patient data, monitoring patients’ progress, reporting updates, etc. RIS handles workflow management while PACS helps in dealing with medical scans.
Hospital Information Systems (HIS)
Hospital information systems provide a common source of information about patients’ health histories, electronic records, and doctors’ schedules. This allows doctors and other health care providers in the system to communicate internally. HIS mainly focuses on the administrational needs of hospitals whereas RIS is specific to radiology departments.
Management Information System (MIS)
A management information system is a method for organizing, controlling, analyzing, and visualizing information within an organization. It eases most of the management tasks for a hospital. An MIS dashboard might contain aggregate modality information, such as weekly or monthly volumes, charges, referral physicians information, monthly targets, etc.
Cloud PACS is a cloud-based alternative to traditional PACS. The term “Cloud” is used for remote data centers which are high-security storage centers. Cloud PACS provides quick and secure access from anywhere in the world. AWS and GCP cloud service providers are among the most secure global infrastructures with flexible data storage, ownership, protection, and retrieval options. They have proven to be more effective in preventing security breaches and providing more reliable long-term data storage and retrieval to ensure business continuity.
REST API or RESTful API is a way to make two software or computers talk to each other. It is what makes integration between RIS and PACS possible. However, REST API protocol is only between web/internet-based applications.
Application Programming Interface (API)
API or an Application Programming Interface is a connection between computer softwares. An API makes two software talk to each other. It is a generic interaction protocol for both offline and web-based applications /software. Eg, AI integration with PACS or Hospital EHR integrations with a new PACS, etc.
The cloud server is a virtual IT infrastructure that works over the internet. It is fast and ensures easy retrieval of data with high security. Cloud servers are compliant to follow security protocols like HIPAA, SOC2, etc. Cloud servers are very reliable and provide high-performance machines customized for several use cases for example high-speed I/O or high compute capacity.
AWS or Amazon Web Services provides on-demand cloud storage and computing facilities. These web servers are world-class storage devices, maintained and managed with utmost care. These servers are protected in high-security data warehouses.
Hybrid PACS is a method of storing data on cloud + onsite. One of the popular methods in which medical imaging data is stored is by creating redundant data presence, at multiple places. Hybrid PACS systems first search for patient’s data in local storage and if not found locally, in cloud storage that’s shared across sites. This allows multiple sites to work together on a set of cases while optimizing for network data transfers.
On-premise PACS is an old method of storing medical/ imaging data in an on-site (physical) location (mostly at the imaging center). There is a high cost involved in maintaining the on-premise server whereas cloud servers are cheap and more reliable.
HIPPA – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (1996) by US federal govt. It sets the guidelines to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. All software companies that handle personally identifiable health information of patients must be HIPAA compliant. Synapsica is HIPAA compliant.
Protected Health Information (PHI)
PHI stands for Protected Health Information which is any Personally Identifiable Information of a patient. This can include medical history, payments/ transactions. HIPAA defines PHI as data that relates to the past, present, or future health of an individual/ patient in the medical record.
Zero Footprint Viewer
A zero-footprint viewer means there is no client-side installation or download required for viewing documents and images. This allows radiologists to open studies directly in the browser, operating system, or device with zero plugins, zero latency, and zero maintenance involved in it.
DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) is a standard protocol for the management of medical imaging data. Each DICOM scan holds a lot of meta-information about the particular file like when the scan was taken, which body part is being scanned, details about the patient taking the scan, etc, along with image pixel data from the scan. DICOM protocol allows medical images to be interpreted consistently across scanning devices and supporting softwares.
Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA)
VNA or a Vendor Neutral Archive is a method of storing medical images in a standard format so that it is accessible from any vendor that you choose to use without any data loss. VNA ensures long backups and safety. It solves the problems of differing data interpretations created by vendor-specific PACS.
ISO-27001 is part of a set of standards developed to handle information security. It provides a model for establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, maintaining, and improving an information security management system. ISO 27001 certification helps an organization demonstrate good security practices.
FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is a federal agency of the US government. It is responsible for protecting public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.
CE marking on a product affirms its compliance with the relevant EU legislation. The products that are traded in the European Union need mandatory CE marking.
Cyber security is the practice that prevents any digital attacks on the servers, data storage units, or software of a system or application.
Server redundancy is a practice that ensures the repetition of data in different servers for backup and safety purposes. The redundancy of servers is the amount and intensity of backup, failover, and redundant systems within a computing environment. This method keeps all the imaging data secure, protected, and available during unforeseen events and system failures.
Encryption is the process of encoding the message or data to prevent unauthorized access. Information can be encrypted at rest, meaning while it is stored or at transit, meaning while it is being transferred to another networked device.
End to End Encryption
End-to-end encryption is a method of communication in which only the communicating users will get the message. The imaging data or the message travels in highly encrypted format which is undetectable. These are the most secure way to share all the medical imaging data and it is safe to use.
An MRI scan of the spine uses radio waves, a magnetic field, and a computer device. It uses contrast media (also known as agents or dyes) which are chemical substances that are used during the scan to create a clear image of the spine. The imaging of the spine using MRI is not harmful but it is advisable for patients with past history to contact doctors before the scan.
Located in the center of the spine, the thoracic spine connects the cervical spine above with the lumbar spine below. The thoracic spine not only provides strength to hold the body upright but also protects the organs located in the chest.
Lumbar spine is a group of five vertebral bodies between the pelvis and the ribs (L1-L5), located from the lower thoracic spine (chest) to the sacrum (bottom of the spine). The vertebral bodies are stacked on top of each other with a disc in between each one.
A cervical spine consists of seven vertebral bodies (C1-C7) that are found on the upper portion of the spine and are responsible for connecting the spine to our skull. These joints support the skull, protect the spinal cord, and allow us to move our heads freely.
The thoracolumbar region is located between the stiff thoracic cage and the mobile lumbar spine. It is vulnerable to injury, including fracture and dislocation. Even though the long-term prognosis for these injuries is good, an early diagnosis and treatment are crucial.
In an X-ray, radiation is used to produce images of bones and organs in the human body. A spinal X-ray provides detailed images of the bones of the spine and can be taken separately for each of the 3 major parts of the spine – cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), and lumbar (lower back).
Degenerative Spine disease
Over time, degenerative spine conditions cause the spine to gradually lose its normal structure and function. Age, tumors, infections, and arthritis may all contribute to their development. A slipped or herniated disc can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots due to degeneration.
Motor Vehicle Accivent (MVA)
A motor vehicle accident (or, an MVA) could be the most tragic event in anyone’s life, both mentally and physically. The majority of people who experience an MVA recover within three to four weeks. However, lingering pain or recurring pain is not unusual after an MVA. Though many other symptoms can occur after an accident, Whiplash is a very common injury after an MVA.
Whiplash is an injury to your neck. It is caused by sudden bending of the neck. It could happen by sudden, fast movements of the neck, forcibly forward and then backward, or vice versa. This injury usually involves the muscles, discs, nerves, and weakens the neck.
Chest radiography, also referred to as X-rays or chest films is a projection radiograph of the chest that can be used to diagnose diseases of the chest, the contents, and nearby structures. These are the most common medical imaging technique in medicine.
The vertebrae in your spine are stacked on top of each other to make up your spine. A compression fracture occurs when your vertebrae are fractured, broken, or collapse. These are also known as Vertebral Compression Fractures (VCFs)
Spinal spondylolisthesis occurs when one of the vertebrae of your spine slides down onto the one below it. Usually, non-surgical treatments are successful in relieving symptoms.
In the thecal sac or dural sac, the dura mater is composed of a membrane or tube encasing the spinal cord and cauda equina. The thecal sac contains cerebral spinal fluid, which nourishes and buoys the spinal cord.
There are congenital irregularities of the spine called lumbar-sacral transitional vertebrae (LSTV). Transitional vertebrae can be classified as either Lumbarization or Sacralization. Sacralization of occurs when elongated transverse processes of the last lumbar vertebra fuse with the “first” sacral segment. Lumbarization, though less common, occurs when there is squaring of the first sacral vertebra. Facet joints and intervertebral disk may also be visible at the S1-S2 level.
As a result of aging, spinal stenosis occurs due to narrowing of the spinal canal, which in turn puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves within the spinal column. It most commonly affects the neck (mid-cervical levels) and lower back (lower lumbar region).
Lumbosacral Spine X-ray
Lumbosacral spine x-rays show the vertebrae in the lower part of your spine, including the lumbar region and your sacrum, which connects your spine to your pelvis. This is the spine and the sacrum with the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), and lumbar (lower back) vertebra.
A sciatica condition is characterized by pain radiating along the sciatic nerve, which runs along your lower back, through your hips and buttocks, and down your legs. Sciatica is common on one side of the body.
The mastoid is located just behind the ear. Inflammation of the bony air cells of the mastoid bone, located just behind the ear, causes mastoiditis. It is a rare condition and usually, antibiotics are used to treat it.
Arthritis is inflammation and pain in joints that typically worsens with aging. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common types of arthritis.
A coccyx is a triangular bone located at the base of the spinal column. This bone is formed from fused vestiges of the original vertebrae.
Arachnoiditis is a painful condition that is caused by inflammation of the arachnoid, one of the membranes that surround and protect the nerves of the spinal cord. It causes stinging and burning pain, as well as neurological problems.
It is a safe and painless procedure that uses only a small amount of radiation to find out how mature a child’s skeletal system is. Doctors typically conduct a bone age study by taking one X-ray of the left wrist, hand, and fingers.
Cervical radiculopathy occurs when a nerve root is damaged or inflamed in the cervical region, causing a change in neurological function. Symptoms of neurological deficits, such as numbness, altered reflexes, or weakness, may hit any part of the body from the neck to the shoulder, hand, or fingers.
In most cases, cervicogenic headache starts with a low-intensity pain in the neck that radiates upward along the back of the head, almost always one-sided. Pain may also spread to the forehead, temples, and area around the eyes and/or ears.