Many industry professionals that I talk with tell me they rather forget 2010 and are looking towards a better 2011. Reason being that their business has been flat and even though most of them are carefully optimistic, they are looking to improve next year. The same is true for those from the provider side: when talking with a hospital CEO recently here in the town, he also said that it has been a year of change, consolidations and scaling back, and therefore not very memorable.
However, I believe that major strides and improvement have been made with implementing health care IT solutions, of which imaging is a critical component. Many institutions in the US and Europe are looking to replace their PACS systems and do not want to go through yet another migration when they need to retire their new system. Therefore, Vendor Neutral Archiving has become a hot topic and the vendor community is now forced to provide true open solutions for their PACS back-end. More electronic health records are being implemented, at least through the push by the US federal government tying the meaningful use of these systems to Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement incentives. I also have seen a lot of emerging and developing countries becoming more mature. Just an example, the workshop we did in the Middle East on how to implement PACS policies and procedures was overbooked and oversubscribed. This clearly indicates that healthcare imaging and IT are not topics of interest for the US and Europe only but the same amount of information is needed for the rest of the world, albeit in their own specific ways, with modified workflows, and taking existing cultures and languages into account.
With regard to the somewhat pessimistic views about this past year, the opposite is true for the team here at Health Imaging Hub. We had a stellar year, and we will never forget 2010 as the year we launched our portal with a big bang. Since we started, more than 36,000 people have signed up with our site—with 30,000 of you opting in to receive our newsletters. Our site reaches physicians, administrators, technologists, radiologists, and other imaging and healthcare IT professionals and decision makers in more than 181 countries, with over 125,000 loyal visitors. Our Alexa ranking is now among the top portals for health imaging and IT. We could not have dreamed of this success just within the first year.
We also will remember 2010 as the year we had a great RSNA with vendors inviting us to share their stories about their latest and greatest products and features. We’ll show these as part of our “RSNA wrap-up” in the form of video demonstrations. These will be especially valuable for those who missed this great event, or, who could not cover all what was new at this major event (which might not be surprising due to its major size).
We have every reason to believe that we can continue this momentum, especially as we will launch our first series of virtual conferences this year. We are very fortunate to be able to have Ed Smith as our program director to continue his annual successful events, but instead of having a face-to-face meeting, we will have our first virtual symposia series called vDHIMS. We will have virtual booths to allow participants to learn about the latest and greatest from the vendor side, and last but not least, there is a the opportunity to earn the continuing education credits required by the professional organizations to maintain your certification.
In conclusion, for us it has been a stellar year, and we have every reason to believe that it will be a great 2011 as well. We are proud that you as our subscribers trust us with the responsibility to enhance your professional knowledge and background and we will continue to do so with the best of our capabilities.
Wishing you all the best for the new year, from all of us, the Healthimaginghub team,