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Teleradiology Services Market to Record an Exponential CAGR by 2026
Teleradiology is the practice of interpretation and analysis of medical images by a radiologist who is not present at the site where the images are generated. This service is utilised by hospitals, emergency care centres, telemedicine companies, and other clinics. Teleradiology services enable radiologists to use online services in order to improve patient care and treatment without the need to be physically present on site. The global teleradiology services market is estimated to reach a market valuation of US$ 1,971.4 Mn by the end of 2016 and register a CAGR of 21.0% over the forecast period (2016–2026).
Increasing incidence of cancer, orthopaedic diseases, and other chronic diseases likely to boost market growth
Growth of the global teleradiology services market is mainly driven by growing incidence of chronic diseases such as cancer, tumours, and orthopaedic diseases; increasing geriatric population; and excessive hospitalisations and increasing admittance in ambulatory surgical centres and clinics. Increasing consumer awareness regarding teleradiology and easy accessibility to the technology is another key factor likely to drive the global demand for teleradiology services.
However, high cost of technology and services, image transmission issues, dearth of trained radiologists and technicians, and a low awareness in emerging economies is likely to pose major challenges for the growth of the global teleradiology services market.
By Process Type
- Certified Reporting Services Process
- Preliminary Reporting
By Service Type
- Emergency Nighthawk
- Day Time Coverage
- Subspecialty Reading
- Cardiac imaging
- Nuclear scans
- Musculoskeletal studies
- Second Opinion
- Clinical Trails
- X-Ray Scans
- Computerised Tomograph (CT) Scans
- MRI Scans
- Ultrasound Scans
- Nuclear Scans
- Cardiac Echo
By End User
- Hospital Pharmacies
- Ambulatory Surgical Centres
- Radiology Centres
- OUS (International)
- Latin America
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific Excluding Japan
- Rest of the World
Certified Reporting Services Process segment likely to dominate the global teleradiology services market through 2026
The Certified Reporting Services Process segment dominated the global market in terms of revenue in 2015 and is expected to retain its dominance throughout the forecast period. The Preliminary Reporting segment is anticipated to be the second most lucrative segment in the global teleradiology services market.
Emergency Nighthawk service type segment expected to dominate the global teleradiology services market in revenue terms
The Emergency Nighthawk segment is anticipated to register the fastest CAGR over the forecast period. The Day Time Coverage segment is expected to be the second most lucrative segment in the global teleradiology services market.
Computerised Tomography (CT) Scans modality segment to retain its dominance between 2016 and 2026
The CT Scans segment dominated the global teleradiology services market in 2015 and is projected to remain dominant throughout the forecast period. The X-Ray Scans segment is expected to be the second most lucrative market segment.
Hospital Pharmacies end user segment anticipated to be the most attractive segment in the global teleradiology services market
The Hospital Pharmacies segment currently accounts for the highest revenue share in the global teleradiology services market due to an increasing usage of teleradiology services in hospital ICU and CCU. The Clinics segment is expected to be the second most lucrative segment in the global teleradiology services market.
U.S most attractive regional market for teleradiology services
U.S. dominated the global teleradiology services market in terms of revenue in 2015 and is likely to emerge as the most attractive regional market. The EU5 region is projected to be the second most lucrative regional market.
The global teleradiology services market is consolidated with key players occupying a major market share
The global teleradiology services market is largely consolidated, with top players accounting for a major market value share in 2015. Some of the leading companies operating in the global teleradiology services market are Teleradiology Solutions, Argus Radiology, SRL Diagnostics, USARAD Holdings Inc., Vital Radiology Services, Teleradiology Providers, Telemedicine Clinic, TeleDiagnosys Services Pvt. Ltd, Imaging Advantage, Foundation Radiology Group, Direct Radiology, Imaging On Call LLC, ONRAD Inc., Rays (Envision Healthcare Company), StatRad LLC, ARIS Radiology, NightShift Radiology, Mednax Inc., National Diagnostic Imaging, Alta Vista TeleRadiology, and Quality Nighthawk. These established players are focused on strategic moves such as new product launches, increasing their distribution channels, and getting into partnerships and agreements with hospitals and specialty clinics to increase the brand awareness of their product.
Social Media Promotes Use Of Teleradiology By Syrian Physicians
Social media has helped connect teleradiologists from around the world to the few physicians and imaging providers practicing in war-torn Syria, according to a study published May 31 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. Since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, 485 medical facilities have been bombed and 841 medical personnel have been killed, wrote Abdulrahman Masrani, MD, from the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues. “The unique conflict … has disrupted every aspect of the Syrians’ lives,” the authors wrote. “It tremendously impacted the healthcare system with several reports of selective targeting of medical facilities and personnel.” Teleradiology interventions have been established to address a staggering number of casualties and traumatic injuries due to the conflict. Ghouta, a suburb located nine miles east of Damascus, has the highest death toll of medical personnel in Syria to date, wrote Masrani et al. The city’s population dropped from 1.2 million to 400,000 people since a siege began 2013. Some imaging equipment exists in Syrian field hospitals, including a few portable ultrasound machines, radiography machines, one functioning four-slice CT scanner and a dysfunctional CT scanner with confined field of view that is only used in select emergency cases, the authors wrote. However, they all lack MRI scanners and PACS, which has forced the only two radiologists to read directly from the scanner. This shortage of on-site radiologists pushed the Syrian American Medical Society to establish the Teleradiology Relief Group (TRG) in February 2015, according to the authors. The TRG is comprised of four volunteer radiologists and two volunteer radiology residents. The group provides 24/7 coverage of imaging examinations through secret social media groups only accessible through mobile devices. “Free and user-friendly social media platforms are feasible to utilize in providing humanitarian teleradiology services to areas under siege,” the authors wrote. “Notwithstanding the limitations related to the siege, such projects are valuable in providing expert interpretation of CT, radiography and ultrasound examinations.” Using a satellite internet service, local doctors post to the Facebook group about their patients’ cases, medical images and lab results, if possible, the authors explained. The TRG teleradiology resident then comments on the post, providing an initial report and the attending radiologist approves it or not. Since being established in 2015, the TRG has interpreted 497 radiological examinations, including 374 CTs, 199 plain films and four ultrasounds. Due to shortage of extremely experience contrast, 97 percent of CT scans were done without contrast. “Even contrast-enhanced CT scans were of low diagnostic yield because of the poor-quality scanners, improper timing of intravenous administration, poor protocol and acquisition parameters, and lack of qualified technicians,” according to the authors. “Repeating an examination was challenging because of the need for patient transport from the field hospital to the CT scanner facility.” Medical images are sent using DICOM format 57 percent of the time, and 43 percent of examinations were sent using JPEG format. “Interpretation of JPEG images was difficult because of the inability to modify the window or level and the lack of proper sequence,” the authors wrote. “In some instances, submitted images were taken by cell phone camera capturing poorly projected radiographic films or printed CT images on viewing boxes.” Nevertheless, preliminary reports are made within 24 hours after initially posting the exam in almost 90 percent of cases.
How One Michigan Provider Used Teleradiology To Boost Productivity And Slash Costs
At Radiology Imaging Solutions, the cost per study has been cut by more than 70 percent, productivity has increased by 400 percent, and report turnaround time has decreased by more than 50 percent thanks to health IT. At Michigan-based Radiology Imaging Solutions, a normal day starts around 7:30 a.m., when the radiologist assigned to teleradiology duties cleans up any studies that arrived after the normal workday had ended the day before. Since the group reads for hospitals and the teleradiology service, there are always studies to be examined. This allows the radiologist on teleradiology duty to read whatever is on the worklist for teleradiology and then switch over to some of the hospital work. The radiologist will cycle back and forth between teleradiology and hospital work every two hours. This keeps both worklists current. The radiologist assigned to the later shift will read all the studies that are on the worklist before leaving, usually by 6 p.m. Teleradiology, the electronic transmission of radiological images such as X-rays, CT scans and MRIs, is a booming business and was one of the first big use-cases for telemedicine. There are many vendors marketing teleradiology technology and services today, including Konica Minolta, NexxRad, OnePacs, RamSoft, StatRad and TelRadSol. “Without technology, none of this happens,” said Randy Robinson, owner of Radiology Imaging Solutions, which uses Konica Minolta’s tool. “When we first started offering our services, it would take 10 minutes to send a chest study into our PACS, then another 10 minutes to send to the radiologist workstation.” Robinson continued that it can conduct the same transaction in less than a minute. The radiology/teleradiology system enables customization, including worklists, hanging protocols, relevant priors, report templates and report delivery options, among other things. Radiology Imaging Solutions has doubled the number of imaging sites for which its radiologists are providing reading services. “It is mostly a matter of ROI,” Robinson explained. “Our old system required that we install expensive ‘gateway’ stations. This resulted in not only pretty significant startup costs, but also the ongoing support cost of software and hardware was suffocating. To recoup those costs, our fee per service had to be at a certain level, and the facility’s imaging volume had to be above a minimum level.” Radiology Imaging Solutions no longer needs expensive “gateways,” no longer pays software support on dozens of stations, and no longer needs to support dozens of hardware platforms that constantly fail, Robinson added. “In fact, we estimate that our teleradiology cost per study has been cut by more than 70 percent,” he said. “This allows us to offer our teleradiology services to lower volume facilities at very competitive fees, which means more facilities that we can provide teleradiology services to.” And by implementing the voice recognition component of the system in place of traditional transcriptionists, productivity has increased by 400 percent, with radiologists reading two-and-a-half times the number of studies with no corresponding increase in working hours and decreasing report turnaround time by more than 50 percent.
On-Site Radiology and Interpretation Services
NDI provides on-site radiologic services and information technology integration upon request. Our IT staff is available to assist imaging centers and health care facilities at their physical location. Our technicians can help with PACS and RIS integration and use. We provide remote and on-site technology consultations, robust data archiving, imaging protocol assistance and medical imaging accreditation support. We exchange information with our customers quickly for ‘STAT Reads” and when we discover critical results and findings. The radiologists at NDI can perform both preliminary and final interpretations on-site. We also specialize in handling preliminary night interpretations.
Teleradiology Provider Reports 400% Increase in Radiologist Productivity while Simultaneously Increasing the Number of Studies Read by 250% after Implementing Exa PACS/RIS
Nine months after the implementation of Exa PACS from Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, Inc., Radiology Imaging Solutions, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based teleradiology provider and one of the state’s largest radiology imaging suppliers, has significantly increased volume and productivity, generating a significant return on its healthcare IT investment. The company has doubled the number of imaging sites its radiologists are providing reading services for. By implementing Exa’s Voice Recognition in place of traditional transcriptionists, their productivity has also increased by 400%. Radiologists are reading 2.5x the number of studies with no corresponding increase in working hours and decreasing report turn-around-times (TATs) by over 50%. “With Exa, we found a product that delivered more than we had expected in terms of cost-effectiveness and return on our investment,” says Randy Robinson, owner, Radiology Imaging Solutions. “It delivers a top-class software environment with affordable pricing—almost unheard of in our industry—and is a great product, with great people, who stand behind it. With Exa, Konica Minolta not only delivered every bit of what was promised but much more than that with advanced technology, service and support.” Exa utilizes Server-Side Rendering for fast access to large files, such as 3D Mammography, with no prefetching required and a diagnostic-quality Zero Footprint Universal Viewer for DICOM and non-DICOM images, including nuclear medicine and echocardiograms. According to Robinson, these technologies have helped reduce overall costs by avoiding the need to purchase dedicated workstations and has led to a reduction in reading times from an average of 4-5 minutes down to 1 minute. In addition to increased productivity and reduced report TATs, Robinson believes that the use of Exa’s Voice Recognition module is also enhancing the quality of the reports and reducing radiologists’ fatigue and stress. Not only are the radiologists more satisfied with their job, they have also indicated they could further increase volume. In 2017, Radiology Imaging Solutions’ radiologists read and reported 35,000 diagnostic imaging studies. “Once we replaced our old PACS with Exa, our radiologists said they could triple their workload and not be overworked,” Robinson adds. “That’s how much faster, simpler and convenient this solution is over other systems they have used. What might take two to three clicks to read a study on another system, with Exa it is one click and the study opens with their hanging protocols.” In addition to teleradiology services, Radiology Imaging Solutions is also a dealer for Exa. Robinson shares that one customer—a Michigan healthcare provider—also implemented Exa Enterprise Imaging and its patient portal in 2017. Prior to Exa, only seven of the health system’s nearly 500 clinicians were accessing the prior systems’ portal for image viewing and sharing. Now, nearly all—490 clinicians across multiple specialties—are using it to access patient images and records. Exa Enterprise Imaging is also being utilized to store a multitude of images—from ophthalmology to dental to diagnostic imaging, including cardiac. Robinson estimates his customer will realize significant costs savings—potentially in the millions—by centralizing all imaging and enabling remote viewing and sharing of patient data. “As a dealer, I can tell my customers that dollar for dollar, there is no better PACS than Exa. And I know this because I not only sell Exa PACS, we use it every day in our teleradiology business,” Robinson says. About Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, Inc. Konica Minolta Healthcare is a world-class provider and market leader in medical diagnostic imaging and healthcare information technology. With over 75 years of endless innovation, Konica Minolta is globally recognized as a leader providing cutting-edge technologies and comprehensive support aimed at providing real solutions to meet customer’s needs and helping make better decisions sooner.
The Teleradiologist Experience
If you’re a teleradiologist, your physical location doesn’t matter. Have secure network and proper equipment, ability to read and diagnose. When teleradiology first entered the industry as a career option, it was pigeon-holed into being an overnight service only. Radiology practices used teleradiology as a way to avoid overnight call. However, in recent years, reading images remotely has ballooned as a viable career option for radiologists who simply don’t want to work in hospitals or imaging centers. And, the teleradiology track is growing dramatically. According to a recent report from the market research firm Grand View Research, teleradiology is on pace to be a $8.24-billion business by 2024. Currently, X-ray reads account for 30% of the work volume, and CT scans are expected to grow annually by 20% through 2024. Clearly, working remotely is becoming a more popular option for new and experienced radiologists who don’t want to be tied to a set schedule or office. In some regards, especially with ease of access and communication with referring physicians, teleradiology mimics academic and private practice. It does, though, offer many differences, present significant benefits, and introduce substantial challenges. Still, said Michael Rothman, MD, a teleradiologist based in Bethlehem, PA, teleradiology fulfills a need within the radiology and patient community. “Teleradiology enables me and my colleagues to offer subspecialty coverage and technical training to providers,” he said. “We’re able to provide care to outlying communities so they don’t have to leave their locations to get the same quality of services as they would at larger facilities.”
As a provider, though, there are things you should know before you opt to work remotely as a diagnostic radiologist, he said.
Choosing teleradiology has become a more viable career option over the past decade, said Michael Yuz, MD, an executive radiologist with USARAD, a radiology-on-demand company. As the opportunities have expanded, so have the positives that come with the work.
- Flexibility: As a teleradiologist, Yuz said, you’ll be able to set your down days and hours for work. Getting up early or working later are viable options that you can’t choose if you work in a brick-and-mortar 9-to-5 imaging center. “Don’t be fooled into thinking you won’t work as much, though,” he said. “You’ll likely actually work more hours than your colleagues in centers or hospitals. It’s not uncommon to work twice as much – to mostly have 12-to-14 hour days.”
- Lifestyle: If you aren’t tied to an imaging center, you’re freer to choose where you live, and you’ll have more time to interact with your friends and family, Rothman said. If you’re happier where you live and work, you’ll experience less stress in your work life, as well.
- Subspecialization: Most imaging centers tend to ask their radiologists to be generalists. If you’re a teleradiologist, you have more opportunities to focus on a subspecialty, Yuz said. “Though, you might be expected to be knowledgeable in all areas, there are opportunities to subspecialize,” he said. “You also have the opportunity to stop in and read for hospital radiologists who don’t have the experience in your area of expertise.”
- Choose Your Partners: As a teleradiologist, you can be more selective about the imaging centers and hospitals with whom you partner. It’s up to you to decide whether you’d like to work with larger or smaller entities, Rothman said.
But, alongside the benefits that come with working remotely, you will encounter challenges to your daily practice, Rothman said.
- Absence: You might be working around the clock from your home or vacation site, but your hospital administrators or practice leaders don’t know that. You’re not there for face-to-face conversations, so that can put you at risk. “As the teleradiologist, I’m the easiest target for cuts because I’m not part of the hospital groups or network for insurance billing,” he said. “They can pick me up and replace me easily.”
- Economic Downturns: There’s nothing you can do to control this problem, Rothman said. When the economy stumbles, hospitals and imaging centers become more frugal, pulling back on expenditures. That means there’s less cash to invest in the remote reading services you offer.
- Technology: Again, you’re at the mercy of uncontrollable forces with technology. If your computer or network experiences a glitch, you could find yourself unable to work for an undetermined amount of time. Depending on what your contracts stipulate, Rothman said, you could find yourself unable to meet your professional obligations. “As teleradiologists, we have to accept that we’re dependent upon electronics,” he said. “But, to do what we do, you have to have 24/7/365 technical support.”
Payment & Reimbursement
Getting paid as a teleradiologist is different from collecting a paycheck from a hospital or imaging center, Yuz said. Despite its reputation, teleradiology doesn’t require less work for more money. In fact, he said, the opposite is true. In this role, you’ll read more for the same or less pay. Typically, teleradiologists make less than radiologists who work on-site. The difference comes from reimbursement strategies, Rothman said. When teleradiologists contract with imaging centers or hospitals, they sign over their rights to file reimbursement on their own behalf – the hospital or imaging center files for them. Consequently, any reimbursement paid for teleradiology services gets diluted in the cash flow used to pay for the practice’s working expenses. In general, he added, you’ll likely be paid in one of two ways – either as salaried, plus bonus, or on a per-click basis, meaning the more you read, they more you get paid. Yuz agreed, adding that you have to not only be fast, but you must also be accurate in your reads. “If you don’t read well with a low error rate,” Yuz said, “you won’t do well in teleradiology.”
What You Should Know
If you’re considering teleradiology as a career, there are some things you should think about, Yuz and Rothman said. If you can work within these parameters, teleradiology could be a good career choice.
- Self-motivation: If you work remotely, there’s no one watching over you to ensure you’re reading images when you say you’ll be. You must be able avoid the distractions – whether they’re family or household chores – that pop up from working at home.
- HIPAA: Having a dedicated, at-home office space isn’t enough to be a practicing teleradiologist. You must be sure you have a HIPAA-secured network so you’re protecting patient data at all times.
- Legal Support: Chances are, you’re working with practices and hospitals that are scattered throughout the country – or internationally. You’ll be required to have licenses to practice in all states, and you’ll need legal representation in each state to ensure your liabilities are covered.
- Personal Contact: Before you opt for teleradiology, honestly assess whether you enjoy face-to-face contact with your referring physicians, Yuz said. If you enjoy meeting with colleagues and having in-person interactions frequently, it’s unlikely you’ll be happy with teleradiology.
- Speed: Are you fast? Can you read accurately and rapidly? If so, teleradiology could be a good fit. However, if you need to work a little more slowly, you may want to consider working in an office environment. Ultimately, both Yuz and Rothman agreed, as teleradiology continues to grow and more facilities rely on it for greater subspecialization and timely diagnoses, it’s likely more radiologists will choose working remotely over tying themselves to a facility on a daily basis. “You can create a lifestyle that meets your needs and still provides you with a reasonable income stream and quality cases with great groups to work with,” Rothman said.
Choosing a Teleradiology Company
An ideal teleradiology company should be available 24/7. Try to find a teleradiology company that lets your staff talk to reading radiologists whenever they want to discuss important questions and critical results and findings. Contract with a teleradiology company that only employees radiologists certified by the American Board of Radiology (ABR). Absorb emerging trends in the field of teleradiology.
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Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting
The RSNA’s annual meeting will take place November 25 to 30 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Learn from the best and the brightest.
How to Start a Mobile Ultrasound Company
Running a profitable mobile ultrasound service begins with the challenges faced during the start-up process. Become a sponge for industry knowledge. Get your financing squared away. Choose your business structure. Acquire equipment to operate your mobile ultrasound company. And finally, get some clients.
Consolidation and Change: The Current State of Outpatient Imaging
Large outpatient medical imaging services are trying to keep up but some of the smaller imaging centers are struggling to stay in business. Reimbursement issues are creating challenges, financial pressures and strong competition from hospitals are also pressuring outpatient imaging clinics. As a result, consolidation of imaging centers is happening.