How the Right Medical Technologies Can Help Rural Healthcare Survive and Thrive

How can the right medical technologies help rural healthcare survive and thrive? Informaticist and researcher Catherine Craven explains how a cost-effective, high-quality telehealth solution can benefit rural health organizations.

Learn how TeleRay can help rural healthcare providers manage their medical imaging more efficiently. Book a demo today at

Why Medical Images Should Never Be Exchanged via CDs

How do CDs delay patient care and result in poor healthcare outcomes? Kevin Thompson, president of Thompson Medical Consulting, explains why medical images should never be exchanged via CDs.

Learn how TeleRay can help healthcare providers manage their medical imaging more efficiently. Book a demo today at

Leveraging Remote Ultrasound for Specialist Review and Support in Rural Areas

In rural areas, accessing specialized medical care has long been a daunting challenge for patients in need. Long distances to facilities, funding challenges, access to specialists, and high costs in general can all present barriers to diagnosis and treatment. However, as digitization sweeps across the healthcare landscape, technology has emerged as an equalizer. Remote ultrasound in particular is a game-changer that’s revolutionizing the way specialist care is delivered to rural populations.

Rural health challenges

To understand the potential of remote ultrasound, you must consider the social determinants of health (SDOH) rural populations face as they seek specialist care. Some of the biggest hurdles include:

  • Geographic isolation: Rural healthcare facilities are often fewer and farther from the populations they serve. This can make it difficult (and expensive) for patients to travel to see a specialist.
  • Transportation challenges: Rural patients may not have access to reliable transportation, which can make it problematic for them to travel to see a specialist. Moreover, public transit is generally lacking in rural communities.
  • Lack of specialists: There are fewer practicing specialists in rural areas than in urban areas. This is due to a number of factors, including lower population density in rural areas, as well as pay inequalities for rural providers.
  • Cost of care: The cost of specialist care can be high, and rural patients may not have the financial resources to pay for it. Insurance may only offer limited coverage for specialists. These high out-of-pocket expenses can cause patients to forgo care.

These challenges can make it difficult for rural patients to get the proactive care they need — particularly from specialists who play a critical role in assessing treatment for chronic or unique conditions.

Enter remote ultrasound

Over the past decade, ultrasound has moved to the forefront of medicine across numerous specialties. Its diagnostic abilities allow internal medicine specialists to diagnose, assess, treat, and monitor conditions. Ultrasound has also benefitted from innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) and point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS), which have made it more accessible and reliable.

Perhaps the most important ultrasound innovation recently is remote imaging. This segment of telemedicine enables any qualified diagnostician to scan patients and transmit images to specialists in real time — wherever they are. Through platforms like TeleRay Remote, clinicians can even control equipment remotely to manipulate scan images or consult with patients using their scans as a guide.

Remote ultrasound is also incredibly secure. Because patient data is encrypted and transmitted directly from end to end, patients and providers get peace of mind in not only the level of care being provided but also the integrity of the experience.

Empowering specialists to help rural patients

Providers in rural communities often face challenges driven by their location. Their caseloads are higher, and they frequently see patients for longer periods of their lives, treating conditions that may be exacerbated by other healthcare barriers. This means they’re often seeking innovations that help provide optimal care within these constraints.

Remote ultrasound helps rural clinicians get the support they need. Thanks to remote ultrasound, they’re no longer constrained by the resources immediately available to them. On top of these benefits, remote ultrasound also:

  • Allows use via cellular networks despite poor internet coverage
  • Eliminates the need for on-site specialists to receive and interpret high-fidelity scans
  • Helps reduce the workload of specialists due to fewer non-anomalous referrals
  • Enables training and support for non-specialist healthcare providers and diagnosticians
  • Offers portability and can be part of mobile clinics and care units
  • Ensures patient privacy through direct P2P transmission in compliance with HIPAA laws
  • Lowers healthcare costs by preventing rescans, unnecessary referrals, patient travel, etc.

Above all, remote ultrasound makes healthcare more equitable for rural patients who don’t have the same access due to SDOH factors. From a small local clinic to a mobile screening program to a rural hospital, remote ultrasound brings specialist expertise into the healthcare journey — wherever it occurs.

Helping rural patients access care

Numerous barriers make it difficult for rural patients to get the care they need. Remote ultrasound helps specialists provide a higher caliber of care to rural populations so they can benefit from improved diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes. Thanks to technology like TeleRay Remote, intervention is no longer dependent on proximity to providers. Now, specialists can do more with less — regardless of location — and facilitate healthier patients, communities, and populations.

Learn how TeleRay can help rural healthcare providers manage medical imaging more efficiently. Book a demo today at

Healthcare’s Dirty Little Secret

Why are unnecessary rescans healthcare’s dirty little secret? TeleRay Chief Operating Officer Steve Austin explains the problems associated with rescanning and the ways TeleRay can help.

Unnecessary Rescans: The Hidden Scourge of Healthcare

Diagnostic imaging plays a crucial role in modern medicine. But lurking behind every CAT scan, MRI, and X-ray lies a hidden scourge: unnecessary rescans. These repeated imaging procedures — caused by everything from technical glitches and inconclusive results due to sub-optimal patient positioning or operator technique or experience — not only drain valuable resources but also place undue stress on patients.

Thankfully, there are ways to address excessive rescans. It’s time to highlight this overlooked issue and work toward a more efficient, patient-centered approach to diagnostic imaging.

Scan and scan again

A rescan typically refers to the repetition of an imaging procedure — such as a CT MRI, ultrasound or X-ray — due to circumstances impeding the accurate interpretation of the initial scan. A rescan may be required for several reasons, including:

  • Technical issues, from equipment malfunction to image artifact
  • CD’s – still the most common method for exchanging studies – being unreadable by the recipient physician
  • Inconclusive results yielded by the initial scan

These factors collectively contribute to an increasing prevalence of unnecessary rescanning each year. With each rescan comes significant costs and inconveniences for healthcare systems and patients alike.

Several studies and statistics reveal the magnitude of the problem of unnecessary rescanning. For instance, one peer-reviewed publication cites errors in “an estimated day-to-day rate of 3–5% of studies reported, and much higher rates reported in many targeted studies.”

Effectively, of the 1 billion radiologic examinations performed annually, 30-50 million are rescans. This figure — along with others probing the causes behind high rescan rates — underscores the substantial wastes associated with avoidable rescans.

The wastes and dangers of unnecessary rescans

Unnecessary rescans in diagnostic imaging have major implications, in terms of both the financial costs and waste of valuable healthcare resources. Each rescan incurs additional expenses, including equipment usage, staff time, and radiologist interpretations. These costs can add up quickly, burdening healthcare systems and diverting funds that could be allocated to other critical areas of patient care.

The cost also goes beyond the financial expense. One of the top risks associated with unnecessary rescans is the repeated exposure to radiation. Many imaging procedures, such as CT scans, involve the use of ionizing radiation. While the radiation dose from a single scan is typically considered safe, the cumulative effect of multiple scans can elevate the risk of potential radiation-related complications and adverse effects. Indeed, studies indicate that up to 2% of all cancers in the US are linked to CT scans.

Further, as the population ages, the demands on imaging equipment has driven up stress on the infrastructure and clinicians / technicians alike. Accordingly, burn-out rates among professionals is currently at alarming levels, leading to a severe shortage of radiologists. With the over 60 population set to grow nearly 50% by 2050 the current growth in radiology internship of 2.5% will likely deepen the problem.

Patient inconvenience must also be considered. Unnecessary rescans can impose increased stress, anxiety, and frustration due to prolonged waiting times for rescheduled scans, additional visits to the imaging center, and potential delays in receiving a diagnosis. Moreover, excessive rescans can lead to longer wait times for patients who require initial scans delaying their diagnoses and treatment plans.

Strategies for reducing rescans

While the medical field has largely accepted rescans as “part of the process,” modern innovations have unlocked opportunities to mitigate the need for rescans by resolving pain points before, during, and after the initial scans. Here’s how:

  • Embrace advancements in imaging technology. For example, TeleRay enables remote specialist consultation during initial scans, decreasing errors caused by operator inexperience or technical glitches. Additionally, the integration of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms improve speed and accuracy of diagnosis.
  • Implement standardized protocols. By adhering to well-defined and widely accepted protocols, such as positioning guidelines, imaging parameters, and acquisition techniques, providers can ensure consistency and optimize scan quality. Standardization minimizes variations in imaging practices and facilitates better comparability between studies.
  • Foster interdisciplinary collaboration. Encouraging an open dialogue and providing clear communication channels allow for a better understanding of clinical indications and patient history, reducing the likelihood of misinterpretation or incomplete information. Radiologists can offer guidance to technicians during scans, ensuring optimal image acquisition, while referring physicians can provide comprehensive clinical information to enhance the accuracy of interpretations.
  • Offer continuous education and training. Radiologists, technicians, and other staff members should be well versed in the latest imaging techniques, quality assurance measures, and protocols. Continuous education and training can decrease technical errors and increase the efficiency of initial imaging.

Mitigate the scourge of rescans

Unnecessary rescans pose a considerable burden on healthcare systems, patients, and resources. By embracing advancements in imaging technology, implementing standardized protocols, and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, providers can take steps toward reducing rescans. While every scan won’t be viable, in the modern era, there’s more opportunity than ever to get it right the first time.

Learn how TeleRay can help healthcare providers manage medical imaging more efficiently. Book a demo today at

Electronic Image Exchange Systems Improve Healthcare, but at What Cost?

The healthcare industry is undergoing rapid innovation thanks to numerous technological advancements. In radiology, electronic image exchange systems (EIES) have emerged as a game-changer, offering seamless access to medical images and reports, facilitating collaboration among healthcare professionals, and enhancing patient care. But as the benefits of EIES become increasingly evident, it’s crucial to consider the costs associated with their implementation.

From privacy concerns and interoperability challenges to the financial burden of infrastructure and training, there are multifaceted challenges facing EIES. It raises the question: How can you ensure the benefits outweigh the costs?

Benefits of electronic image exchange systems

To understand why electronic image exchange systems have become a centralized, staple technology in diagnostic imaging, you must consider the benefits they provide:

  • Streamlined access: Electronic image exchange systems allow healthcare providers to access medical images and accompanying reports quickly and easily. This expedites the process of retrieving patient data and enables professionals to make informed decisions about diagnosis and treatment more efficiently.
  • Enhanced collaboration: By securely sharing images and reports electronically, physicians, radiologists, and other specialists can consult with one another, discuss cases, and reach a consensus on patient management. This improves interdisciplinary teamwork and leads to better patient outcomes.
  • Improved outcomes: Rapid access to medical images through EIES helps providers make timely and accurate diagnoses. When images are readily accessible, healthcare professionals can compare current and past images, track disease progression, and make informed decisions about ongoing treatment.
  • Time and cost savings: Traditional methods of transferring medical images — such as burning images onto CDs or physically delivering films — can be time-consuming and costly. Through EIES, providers can securely share images with the click of a button. This efficiency allows for faster turnaround times and lower media costs.

Challenges and costs associated with EIES

Like most technologies, electronic image exchange systems benefit providers, patients, and healthcare organizations only when they are implemented and used effectively. This is where obstacles begin to emerge for many organizations, including common barriers such as:

  • Privacy and security concerns: Where there’s digital data, there’s a risk of unauthorized access and data breaches. Healthcare organizations must implement robust security measures, encryption techniques, and access controls to mitigate these risks. Compliance with HIPAA adds an extra layer of complexity and cost to EIES implementation.
  • Interoperability issues: Electronic image exchange systems often face challenges in achieving interoperability due to variations in data formats, protocols, and proprietary systems. Healthcare organizations may need to invest in additional resources to ensure compatibility between their EIES and other systems used by external providers or facilities.
  • Infrastructure and maintenance costs: If they don’t already possess them, organizations must acquire servers, storage, networking equipment, and software licenses to support the exchange and storage of medical images. Additionally, there are ongoing costs associated with EIES maintenance, updates, and upgrades.
  • Training and learning curve: Adopting a new EIES may pose challenges for healthcare professionals accustomed to traditional methods of image sharing. Training can improve proficiency but requires allocating time and resources for learning, which can impact productivity.

Balancing the pros and cons

The decision to deploy EIES requires careful evaluation of the potential benefits weighed against the real costs and barriers each organization faces in any situation, but most particularly in smaller practices where financial and workflow impacts usually are disproportionately greater than in larger organizations. A cost-benefit analysis should be undertaken to determine if the advantages outweigh the potential drawbacks

  • Assess the existing technological infrastructure and determine if it can support EIES.
  • Identify resources and budgets for upfront investments, maintenance, and upgrades.
  • Plan for ethical considerations, such as patient consent for sharing and accessing images.
  • Account for legal implications, including HIPAA compliance surrounding electronic protected health information.

If there’s a clear path toward ROI, the focus narrows to the specific risks and challenges faced by the organization. This might include prioritizing data security, adopting industry standards for interoperability, and developing comprehensive training programs to facilitate adoption.

Achieving a better standard of care

Electronic image exchange systems have undeniably made significant strides in improving healthcare delivery. They streamline access to vital medical images, promote collaboration among healthcare professionals, and enhance patient care. But it’s imperative to acknowledge and address the costs and challenges accompanying these benefits.

As electronic image exchange systems continue to expand, striking a balance will be key. Focusing on purposeful implementation and adhering to best practices are the best ways to mitigate the cost of innovation and ensure maximum ROI — both in patient care and on the bottom line.

Learn how TeleRay is designed from the ground up to not only meet and exceed these requirements as the fastest, most secure EIES available with no/low implementation footprint but also to do so remarkably economically to drive up ROI. Book a demo today at

The Key Role Medical Imaging Plays in Precision Medicine

Precision medicine is a groundbreaking approach to delivering personalized healthcare to patients. It tailors medical treatments to an individual’s unique genetic makeup, lifestyle, and environment while being guided by data-driven technologies. This method has already yielded impressive results, leading to personalized care that’s more effective and less invasive.

While there’s much ado about the drug-related aspects of precision medicine, one crucial component often goes overlooked — the role of medical imaging. Imaging enables physicians to diagnose diseases, monitor treatment progress, and predict outcomes. These vital capabilities mean medical imaging is integral in putting patients on a personalized path to wellness.

The age of personalized medicine

No two people are alike. Individual variability, genetics, and environmental factors affect how we react to symptoms and respond to treatment. When prompt medical care is critical for effective treatment and recovery, rapid diagnosis is vital. Precision medicine aims to transform the practice of medicine with early diagnosis and personalized treatments tailored to the individual characteristics of each patient, offering a turnkey approach.

Imaging plays a pivotal role in precision medicine by providing individualized screening and early diagnosis to guide treatment and evaluate the response to therapy. Medical imaging can customize care at a foundational level for everyone by identifying genomic drivers and delivering the necessary information to offer the right treatment at the right time.

There’s a growing, critical need to ensure every aspect of care is informed by patient data. According to the World Health Organization, the number of people 80 years and older will triple between 2020 and 2050. But elderly patients aren’t the only population in need of specialized care. In the United States, six in 10 adults experience chronic disease. Image-guided tests and treatments provide physicians with fact-based data to make immediate diagnoses and offer precise treatment for improved outcomes.

How medical imaging enables precision medicine

Medical imaging lays the groundwork for an insightful approach to precision medicine. It can assist in diagnosing disease with enhanced accuracy, helping medical professionals better identify prognoses and inform treatments for disorders. Medical imaging offers many benefits to guide care delivery, including:

  • Diagnostic capabilities: Medical imaging systems provide accurate images to evaluate disease or medical emergencies. The widespread application of AI across imaging modalities can improve diagnostics for more effective treatment and follow-up care.
  • Tailored treatment plans: Treatment guided by medical imaging allows medical providers to offer more accurate, less invasive treatments.
  • Monitoring treatment progress: Multiple scans are often used to monitor a disease over time. Repeat medical imaging can evaluate tumor sizes or monitor the treatment of a broken bone or illness.
  • Predictive analytics: When medical images are used successfully for diagnosis and in monitoring treatment plans, the data derived from these cases provide more information about medical conditions. The growing collection of medical intelligence can train AI systems to increase the accuracy of predictive analytics.

The future of precision medicine is now

Imaging can be utilized to improve all aspects of care while supporting more targeted, predictive, personalized, and effective care approaches. Recent advancements in imaging technology increase the speed of diagnostics and lead to rapid treatment for the best outcomes possible. As modern equipment and technology converge, data can be leveraged to further advance immediate and personalized treatment.

Consider how these advancements combining big data and technology with medical imaging will provide more innovative personalized treatment for patients:

  • Personalized imaging: Capturing images can be challenging for certain populations. Advanced imaging techniques combined with personalized methods can reduce patient stress to allow medical professionals to gather necessary data.
  • Radiogenomics: By correlating imaging studies with genomic data, providers may eventually be able to identify cancers with greater accuracy and give personalized treatment options to patients based on genetic and clinical data.
  • Advanced image sharing: Secure cloud storage systems like TeleRay’s offer superfast uploads, downloads, and viewing anywhere on any device and at any time. By transferring patient studies faster and more securely, these platforms can reduce the time to diagnosis and speed treatment options.
  • Image-guided interventions: Imaging can help guide clinicians to deliver therapies while protecting the surrounding healthy structures from exposure.
  • Precise radiation therapy: Machine learning tools can offer clinical decision support to accurately calculate optimal doses of radiation therapy for cancer patients and supply the right amount of treatment for their needs.

The future of precision medicine looks incredibly promising due in part to the role of medical imaging and its ability to lay the groundwork for personalized treatments. Medical imaging techniques will continue to become more sophisticated, cost-effective, and accessible, resulting in better outcomes. As physicians find new ways to combine medical imaging technology with powerful software and personalized drugs, the future of care delivery stands to become more effective, efficient, and equitable for all.

Learn more about a faster, more secure way to share medical images at

Why Diagnostic Imaging Needs AI and Machine Learning

Why does diagnostic imaging need artificial intelligence and machine learning? TeleRay Chief Operating Officer Steve Austin explains why these tools are ideal for radiology.

Top 10 Pain Points in Medical Image Sharing

Medical imaging is an essential aspect of healthcare — one increasingly part of a decentralized care-delivery model. But while systems are emerging to improve the transmissibility of critical patient data, the process of sharing medical images can be a complex one to navigate and a significant pain point for healthcare organizations.

From technological limitations to regulatory compliance, medical image sharing comes with a host of challenges possibly leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment, decreased patient satisfaction, and increased costs. Let’s explore 10 of the top barriers (and solutions to address them).

The age of information mobility

Medical data is mobile, following patients from provider to provider across their healthcare journeys. As such, it must be easily transmissible. While this may sound simple, there are obstacles to sending, accessing, storing, and transferring medical data. Imaging data is especially difficult to mobilize.

Establishing mobile, transferable medical data protocols is crucial. The barriers to sending patient information affect a patient’s experience and their provider’s ability to deliver care. Issues like downtime, integrations, support, and training can make it difficult for providers to share patient information between practices. Just because you can send it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe, secure, or usable in another facility.

Identifying pain points

Making medical images uniformly accessible when and where they’re most needed starts by understanding the obstacles preventing this mobility. Here are 10 of the top pain points in medical image sharing today:

  1. Limited interoperability: Medical imaging must be available to providers regardless of the software they use in their practice. If systems can’t send, receive, decode, and present data uniformly, providers are less likely to rely on them.
  2. Lack of standardization: From file formatting to encryption standards and channels, providers must ensure they’re aligned with what constitutes best practices when sharing imaging data.
  3. Slow and inefficient transfer speeds: When it takes minutes or even hours to transfer data, you’re at a higher risk level than instant transfers. Uploads and downloads can time out, wasting your precious time.
  4. Cybersecurity risks: HIPPA and other data privacy laws require strict cybersecurity protocols. Many medical image-transfer services are unequipped to defend against attacks, putting patients and providers at risk of bad actors.
  5. EHR integration barriers: When an electronic health record (EHR) is incompatible with your practice’s system, reviewing a patient’s records and treating them appropriately are more difficult.
  6. Lack of accessibility and availability: Some practices do not have digital medical image sharing, which presents another problem. Complex or confusing software makes it harder for providers to switch or use the system consistently.
  7. Expensive solutions: Unfortunately, some medical image-sharing software is expensive, making it cost-prohibitive for smaller providers. Tech debt is a prevalent concern as the healthcare ecosystem continues its march toward digitization.
  8. Limited patient control: Giving your patients control over their data and medical records can help, but not all medical image-sharing software allows the patient any modicum of control.
  9. Lack of collaboration among providers: Whether providers are in the same practice or not, collaboration is the key to ensuring your patients’ healthcare needs are addressed appropriately. When your software fails to allow for collaboration, miscommunications and misdiagnoses are more likely.
  10. Lack of support and training: New software requires support and training. If your medical image-sharing software doesn’t offer skills-based training and customer support, your patients may suffer as a result.

Many of the problems noted above are due to tech gaps and learning barriers. While this is understandable, it also places patients and providers at a significant disadvantage. Hospitals and other medical practices must adopt new technology, understand it, and create new processes around it.

Step into the future with TeleRay

The technologies enabling medical image sharing are still evolving, and so are providers’ responses to adopting and using these systems. To keep pace with the speed of innovation and ensure it translates to speed and satisfaction of care, providers must focus on the pain points hampering medical image sharing. Laying the groundwork for better transmissibility will lead to a superior standard of patient care in the years to come — no matter how the tech continues to evolve.

Learn more about how TeleRay improves medical image transmissibility at

The Huge benefits of Livestreaming Mammography Ultrasound

What are the benefits of livestreaming mammography and ultrasound exams? TeleRay CEO Tim Kelley highlights the advantages for patients and healthcare professionals.