Technology has a vital role to play as the radiology profession continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic, workforce shortages, backlogs and changing ways of working. The cloud will be key in maximising productivity gains as radiologists and NHS Trusts look for more efficient ways of working.
For years, it’s been clear that radiology is a department in need of change. Long before the pandemic, the profession was notoriously understaffed, creating a steadily growing studies backlog, year after year. Meanwhile, it was becoming increasingly clear that legacy imaging systems, with their on-premise, hard to access data, would soon become untenable.
The events of 2020 changed life, work and healthcare on a global scale. Suddenly, the idea of radiologists working remotely, and in some cases from home, became a reality. Trends that were already in motion accelerated – and the backlogs grew even further out of control.
The spark of much needed modernisation was lit – and acceleration to digital transformation became a reality.
Modernising diagnostics throughout the NHS
In November 2021, the UK Government announced significant funding to modernise and digitise diagnostics. This was in addition to a Spending Review promise of £2.3 billion to transform diagnostic services across England.
The stated goal of this funding was clear: to increase efficiency by saving staff time, making data sharing easier, and speeding up patient treatment as a result.
In radiology specifically, this funding was pledged to be focused on sharing scans across settings, improving how scans are requested, and enabling radiologists to report on scans remotely.
How can these diverse targets be met in a way that helps government funding and taxpayer money go further? What kind of new technology can become the bedrock of transformation for radiology? Furthermore, how can this technology become a seamless part of the workflow, not just for radiologists, but also in how medical departments and disciplines interact?
Removing old processes and obstacles is only part of the answer. Using a solution that offers portability, connectivity and flexibility towards how radiologists now need to work in the post pandemic digital era provides a more holistic approach.
Improving the core workflow of radiologists
A key barrier to radiologist productivity is unwieldy and out of date software that makes reporting on images more obtuse and time consuming than it needs to be. Replacing such with an AI-driven speech recognition (SR) and voice transcription system is a powerful way to make day-to-day reporting more efficient, by:
- Enabling radiologists to easily dictate reports with extreme accurate results and little to no editing required
- Delivering an intuitive, easy to use interface for transcription
- Automating repetitive tasks through macros and auto-texts
As a simple replacement for manual transcription services, a voice-AI SR like Augnito creates considerable time savings for radiologists. As a result, they’re able to keep pace with a sizable workload – and reduce the backlogs created by the pandemic and working from home.
Taking speech recognition benefits everywhere
Crucially, Augnito was built in partnership with radiologists and around the clear, urgent need to make reporting more flexible, scalable and secure. The pandemic demonstrated that work from home was possible. But remote access is also a way for radiologists to work however and whenever they need to.
Augnito is a 100% cloud-hosted solution, available anywhere, bringing highly accurate speech recognition to smartphones, tablets and browser-based applications. With Augnito, radiologists can work securely from home – or anywhere else – while avoiding the need for complex and cumbersome locally installed applications, which often tie up IT resources.
At the same time, a cloud speech recognition solution helps Trusts use their funding effectively and achieve their digital transformation goals sooner and with greater ease. There’s no need for costly, complex changes to infrastructure, or ongoing maintenance and updates. A hosted solution is ready to use immediately, then backed by ongoing centralised management.
Speech recognition has helped radiologists work more efficiently for years. Now, cloud-hosted speech recognition empowers radiologists to work not just faster and more accurately, but with unlimited flexibility and peace of mind around security and compliance, including, GDPR and PID regulations. All while making change simple and risk-free for Trusts and healthcare providers, with a solution that can be securely provisioned in-line with a secure IT strategy.
Going beyond the radiology department
Radiologists themselves are at the core of how imaging and reporting is changing. But they also have an important role to play as part of a wider diagnostic process where information flows from GPs to radiologists and back again.
With this in mind, the connectivity and availability of radiology data is a fundamental requirement for digital transformation to be impactful – providing the holistic approach we touched on earlier.
Augnito can also be deeply integrated with other clinical and reporting technologies, using the Augnito API and SDK intergration tools.
Through integration, our industry leading SR engine can become an integral part of the entire healthcare clinical reporting path:
- Enabling GPs to report directly into their patient admin system in primary care
- Sending referral letters through to other specialised physicians/clinicians
- Working hand-in-hand with EMR/EPRs
- Returning patients and reports back to GPs and any follow-up community or mental health support
In many cases, we already have relationships with the leading providers to make Augnito integration faster and more straightforward. Similarly, we’ve built strong relationships across teleradiology, bolstering the ability to deliver SR to outsourced radiologists also helping to clear NHS backlogs.
In this way, Augnito isn’t just supporting radiologists individually – we are beginning to transform the entire field, as well as reaching out to the many other specialist professionals across healthcare.
A solution for every aspect of radiology reporting
Augnito is tailored to the challenges the profession is facing – and the big opportunities for change and improvement.
Accuracy is at the centre of what makes Augnito different. But it’s the quality of our solution and the sum of its many parts that makes it such a good fit for radiology’s continued transformation.
Augnito helps radiologists process their reporting more efficiently. It puts time savings in their hands, wherever they work – be it from hospitals or home. Augnito works out-of-the box with a range of intuitive apps and interfaces. It can also be deeply integrated with other clinical systems, extending the impact of its speech recognition benefits and empowering Trusts to save even more time and money. All from the same secure, cloud-based technology.