Homerton Healthcare achieves milestone with Sectra imaging technology

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Homerton Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has become the first organisation anywhere in the NHS to deploy Sectra’s enterprise imaging service using public cloud.

The deployment has shown that NHS patient imaging can be efficiently accessed from a secure public cloud environment, just as quickly as when data is stored on-premise.

This has proven important for busy radiology teams at the trust, who have been using the service since the summer, to help them analyse and report on thousands of patient scans that are a vital part of patient diagnosis. The trust delivers around 250,000 imaging reports for patients each year.

Adham Nicola, PACS manager for Homerton Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As a first-of-type for public cloud in the NHS, we have proven this works. Being bleeding edge can be a challenge. But we have achieved a milestone in cloud adoption for NHS imaging.

“Feedback from radiologists has been nothing but positive. The system is highly reliable, secure, resilient and performs well, supporting our diagnostic teams with lots more functionality that is proving very popular with radiologists. This also has the potential to help us to adopt AI into the future.”

The enterprise imaging service has been deployed using the Sectra One Cloud subscription model. Sectra is providing a fully managed Software as a Service (SaaS), meaning staff at the trust will automatically gain access to relevant functionality and tools as they are released.

Staff have already praised features new to them, including a chat tool, which allows radiologists to quickly share images and communicate with each other as they create reports.

Orthopaedic templating functionality is helping surgeons as they plan for surgery, and means the trust is no longer reliant on a third-party application. And a business intelligence product is allowing managers to better track activity, create analysis charts, and understand turnaround times and pressure points.

Cross-site reporting functionality will also help to lay foundations for future wider sub-speciality collaboration in the region, in areas such as paediatric and stroke radiology.

The scalable deployment signals an important step for imaging strategy for North East London’s integrated care system. Homerton Healthcare is the first of three trusts in the North East London Health and Care Partnership planning to adopt enterprise imaging in the public cloud.

Niall Canavan, IT director at Homerton Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and chief information officer for North East London Health and Care Partnership, said: “Having imaging available in the public cloud will enable closer collaboration and better access to expertise, especially in areas where there are finite number of specialist radiologists.

“The team at Homerton Healthcare have not only made a significant achievement in demonstrating to the NHS what is possible in the cloud, but have completed a stage towards regional consolidation.”

Jane Rendall, UK and Ireland managing director for Sectra, added: “What has been achieved by pioneering imaging professionals in Homerton could very quickly become the norm in the NHS. I’m sure many trusts, integrated care systems and NHS imaging networks will look to the trust to learn how they can replicate success as they transition to public cloud.

“We will certainly be sharing knowledge from this deployment with other NHS customers, as public cloud adoption continues at pace with the potential to enhance how staff work and to save important time in technology adoption.”

Sectra is already supplying imaging solutions to a number of trusts across the UK.  In January, the company was awarded a contract to deliver its cloud-based enterprise imaging service across 15 NHS boards in Scotland.

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