Philips and Alliance Medical pilot new vision for radiology

Partnership will see Alliance Medical leverage Philips’ latest Radiology Operations Command Centre, providing access to senior specialist support

Royal Philips and Alliance Medical have announced a strategic partnership that will see Alliance pilot Philips’ new Radiology Operations Command Centre (ROCC).

Accessible from Alliance’s Iceni Centre based at the Warwick Technology Park, Philips’ vendor-agnostic command centre will centralise, virtualise, and standardise imaging operations across sites in the UK operated by Alliance.

An initial four locations will participate in the pilot, including St Peter’s Hospital in Surrey, University Hospital Hartlepool, West Middlesex University Hospital, and Ashford Hospital in Middlesex.

Philips’ proprietary operational performance management technology will connect experts at the Iceni Centre with radiographers and onsite staff in locations for real-time, over-the-shoulder collaboration and support, delivering a new level of interoperability between radiology departments.

ROCC enables the ability to centrally monitor every MR and CT scanner within a network from a single location. This helps to maintain business continuity, increase productivity, and address the challenges posed by staff shortages by enabling senior radiographers to support others in more than one location.

Additionally, as the NHS continues to tackle the screening backlog caused by COVID-19, and the subsequent restrictions this has placed on imaging services, ROCC presents a new opportunity for radiology services to expand access and improve quality.

Richard Evans, managing director at Alliance Medical, said: “The concept of being able to remotely support our staff and provide training from a team of highly-skilled ROCC operators is groundbreaking.

“In addition, the continuity of service ROCC can offer to our customers will be unrivalled due to the technology and the benefits it brings.”

Neil Mesher, Philips UKI chief executive, added: “Radiology departments, in particular, will face significant challenges in the coming years, with increased pressure from patient backlogs combined with a challenging workforce crisis.

“Therefore, it is mission critical that new ways to manage patient pathways are implemented and we believe that ROCC is a key example of how innovation can be utilised to support healthcare providers in meeting these challenges.”

And Karen Clarke, Alliance Medical unit manager for West Middlesex/St Mary’s Paddington MRI, said of the partnership: “The concept of being able to remotely support the clinical team in real time situations will be a massive benefit to Alliance Medical.

“It will not only enable us to assist both our newest recruits with their probationary training assessments, but also provide high-level remote back-up support to established staff as, and when, needed at site.

“The continuity of scanning performance, reduced need for staff to travel, and opportunity for career progression for senior radiographers will also be notable benefits.”

A key benefit of ROCC is the compatibility of its remote scanner connections with older, legacy imaging systems, allowing healthcare providers to create a ‘hub and spoke’ model for imaging within their existing services.

And, as a first-of-kind in the UK, the ROCC’s vendor-agnostic approach broadens the scope of collaboration and expertise sharing across the image acquisition process, meaning an increase in producing first-time-right scans, which, in turn, will lead to greater confidence in diagnosis.

ROCC also enables real-time collaboration and virtual imaging assistance, even when a patient is on the scanner table, breaking down communication barriers and helping maximise the value of staff, without compromising imaging quality, privacy, safety, or security.

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