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Q&A SIIM chair, Dr. James Whitfill

Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | June 21, 2019
From the June 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

I think the other piece — and it’s definitely related to enterprise imaging — is that we know that radiology continues to play a core part within the specialty area that’s tightly tied to SIIM, but we’ve really seen how other imaging producing specialties like ophthalmology, endoscopy, pathology, wound care are continuing to evolve. You can put all that under the umbrella of enterprise imaging. One of the things we put a lot of energy into around that is how do we create a large tent so that members within these image-producing specialties can feel at home and learn and innovate at SIIM to help advance the whole field?

Since we last spoke, we’ve had some exciting developments. For example, the president of the Digital Pathology Association, Marilyn Bui, has joined our 2020 committee. That’s emblematic of the welcoming place we’re creating.

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As a bigger picture, we’ve seen impressive and consistent growth in the last four years, still mostly in our traditional sections: radiologists, imaging Informatics professionals like the PACS administrators, researches, and our vendors who are members. We’ve seen definite growth in other areas as well, but primarily in those spaces. We're continuing our work to nurture growth in other image producing specialties as well.

HCB News: Beyond the Digital Pathology Association, are there other organizations that SIIM is courting?
JW: We are very open to talking to everyone and we’re open to seeing which organizations are a good fit.

HCB News: Is there anyone new to the table that SIIM is having conversations with?
JW: Absolutely! The explosion of machine learning has brought a whole new collection of vendors onto the scene and into the imaging informatics space. We’re putting on a machine learning challenge in concert with the American College of Radiology and we’re using some platforms that are traditionally used outside of healthcare in these types of AI challenges. These are just examples where we definitely have seen the landscape change pretty dramatically, where it’s not just the usual health IT companies playing within this space.

The other thing that we’ve appreciated with these interactions is that within a short period of time, the companies that come in from somewhere outside of the industry quickly realize that healthcare really is very complex. While there are images in healthcare and there are images on Instagram and Flickr, they’re not the same, and managing them and the regulations, privacy, or the lack of standardization in data tagging present unique challenges. So they’re looking for partners who really understand the healthcare landscape. It’s a ripe opportunity for good partnerships.

Henri Primo


June 24, 2019 02:26


Your magazine is now way beyond where it was 2 years ago. Great coverage on Imaging Informatics.
Henri Primo

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