Apollo enterprise imaging solution moves to AWS cloud
October 2, 2023
NEW YORK – At the AWS Summit held here in July, Apollo Enterprise Imaging discussed how hospitals are struggling to keep things up-to-date when connecting their various imaging systems to the Electronic Medical Record. They may be linking radiology, cardiology, pathology, and many other systems to the EMR – each with its own interface to the electronic record system.
However, every time an imaging vendor upgrades their solution, the interface to the electronic record may have to be updated, as well. That’s an expensive and time-consuming activity.
For its part, Apollo, based in Tysons, Va., near Washington, offers a solution called Apollo Repository for Clinical Content (arcc®), an enterprise system that stores and manages medical imaging exams from 45 specialty departments – everything from pathology to radiology to endoscopy, and more.
arcc enables clinicians to access all these images on a single workstation with a single log-in. “And it all integrates with the Electronic Health Record, so you’ve got one integration, not 45,” said Kevin Stinson, Apollo’s chief revenue officer.
“There’s a big cost savings for hospitals when they eliminate these silos of imaging information,” said Stinson, noting that various forms of imaging are usually found in separate repositories. Using a single system like arcc, Apollo estimates the total cost savings for imaging storage can be reduced by 40 percent by leveraging cloud technology.
Apollo can manage nearly all imaging modalities in a single system because it automatically extracts the metadata contained in images. It can then use the metadata to assist with the hospital workflow.
By contrast, many PACS are limited to processing DICOM images, which contain the metadata in a header. For its part, Apollo’s system works with both DICOM and non-DICOM images.
“This gives you much more ability to control and manage the images,” said Stinson.
Moreover, Apollo recently became an AWS partner company and is using newly announced AWS HealthImaging, a purpose-built service in the cloud for medical imaging at scale, to provide customers with fast access to images, along with extensive sharing of images and data and tight security.
“The new service is extremely fast,” commented company founder and CEO Mark Newburger. “It’s as if you were local.”
Partnering with AWS also gives Apollo and its customers access to Amazon’s security, something that’s becoming increasingly important in an era of escalating intrusions and ransomware attacks.
“No one has the capacity to do security on their own anymore,” said Newburger. “You’ve got to partner with someone like AWS, Microsoft or Google.”
For its part, Apollo went with AWS – in addition to the enhanced security, it obtains the speed of HealthImaging. And overall, the cloud makes the sharing of images for customers easier. Whether clinicians are at the hospital or at a remote site, they can share images and work together through the cloud.
Apollo is currently used by 41 different health systems with over 150 hospitals in the United States and Canada.
Interestingly, one of their first customers was the Hospital for Sick Children, in Toronto. SickKids originally signed on with Apollo because it needed a highly secure system for pathology.
In later added ophthalmology, dermatology, medical photography, GI and suspicion of child abuse and neglect.
In the process of developing these systems, it became apparent that the Apollo solution could handle all forms of imaging. Indeed, Sick Kids now uses Apollo as its main enterprise imaging solution, with 45 different specialties running on the solution.