Dec 14 2015 by Don Lawrence

Removing Healthcare Costs With... Pictures!

Screenshot 2015-12-14 12.59.48

We’ve all heard the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and if that is indeed the case, then is medical image-based collaboration the most efficient way for healthcare providers to communicate?  We believe so.

When we developed the world’s first image-based social/clinical network, we started with the notion that images tell a story, and that the story they tell is often a private one.  We then organized our platform by distinct, privately-controlled communities and allowed the key holders of each community to determine the rules of their domain.

Traditional social media (if there is such a thing) has stumbled upon the same realization.  Witness Facebook’s move to fewer words and more images with its acquisition of Instagram.   And don’t forget Twitter, which places a mandate on brevity.   Why shouldn’t enterprises, healthcare or otherwise, use the same concept?  The biggest concern in healthcare and corporations is, of course, security.  Whether it’s confidential patient information or intellectual property contained in the images, “enterprise” doesn’t want this content readily accessible to just anyone.

While we originally started as a platform for physicians to share medical images with their peers, we soon got a call from a non-medical enterprise seeking a platform that would allow their engineering employees to collaborate around the world, primarily using images.  This new business use-case validated the efficiencies created using pictures as a collaboration medium.

Since eRounds launched earlier this year, our members have collaborated on thousands of cases that feature an average of only 42 words and four or fewer images per case.  Let’s keep this in perspective.  These are complex surgical cases with even more complex collaboration occurring among surgeons worldwide.  The fact that a case may be understood well enough to spur elaborate collaboration while using mainly pictures really speaks to the efficiency of eRounds.

We are in the initial stages, but early indicators are that using images as a communication tool in the collaborative process is very effective in healthcare and anywhere the content is sensitive. 

And if our average post contains four images, then our average post-length is worth about 4,000 words.  That’s pretty efficient.