While the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg may be small in size, it thinks big in terms of innovation and commitment to the health and well-being of its residents.
In July 2021, a major step of an ambitious project was achieved, when all four hospital groups in the country went live with the National Medical Imaging Archive (ANIM).
The platform for this large-scale initiative was provided by Agfa HealthCare, which collaborated closely with LUXITH G.I.E., the agency responsible for the project.
The joint archive enables easy access to images through the ‘shared medical file’ (Dossier de Soin Partagé/DSP) hosted by Luxembourg’s national Agence eSanté. The DSP is a medical record containing a patient’s pertinent documents, which can then be accessed by health professionnals and the patient.
The seeds of the National Medical Imaging Archive project go back well before the establishment of LUXITH, explains Christophe Nardin, director of LUXITH. “In 2009, an independent consultant carried out a study on the hospital sector in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and made a number of suggestions. Some of these were ultimately not adopted, but the advantages of a shared imaging archive were clear to all the hospitals.
For example, saving costs by eliminating CDs with patients’ images, reduced archiving infrastructure on the different hospital sites, and improved access to images. This last one is particularly important, because it can significantly reduce unnecessary repeat images for patients. These are not only costly, but increase the patient’s radiation dose exposure.”
Géraldine Vidou came on board as the head of medical imaging, interoperability and development, and in 2015 a competitive dialogue was launched.
“This involved us coming together both with the vendors and the hospitals to work out the specifications for the project, with all the stakeholders directly involved and communicating their needs,” explains Géraldine.
The competitive dialogue process ran through 2016, and included seven workshops plus a Proof of Concept (POC) at two hospitals.
In 2017 Agfa HealthCare was awarded the contract.
LUXITH is an economic interest group established by the Luxembourg Hospitals Federation to provide IT services, software and shared IT infrastructure to the country’s hospitals.
Next to medical imaging projects, they also provide the hospitals with software for human resources and billing; and services related to data privacy and security, as well as interoperability.
Created in 2012, today LUXITH is also responsible for implementing the strategic IT plan for the hospital sector, which provides for the progressive pooling of IT skills in hospitals.