As a healthcare IT partner, we are deeply committed to support our clients and the communities they serve, while coping with the evolving COVID-19 challenge.


Over the past few weeks, together with clients all over the globe, we have been working to support hospitals in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. From supporting the set-up of remote reporting capabilities to configuring special radiology worklists, dedicated to COVID-19 cases.

By sharing the customer cases we encounter and the configurations we’re setting up, we hope to be of help. Should your organization benefit from one of the below set-ups or configurations (*), or for any additional request, please reach out to your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.

1. COVID-19 Specific Priority Work Lists in Enterprise Imaging

To help the radiology team of a Belgian University Hospital to keep track of the COVID-19 cases among other high importance cases, a dedicated COVID-19 worklist has been created.

From the Agfa HealthCare RIS, a COVID-19 indication is communicated to Enterprise Imaging, resulting in the creation of a COVID priority reading task.

To quickly configure the reading priority, without the need for additional manual intervention by users, an unused order priority was used. In the list area, a special color code is given to the COVID-19 cases to highlight the cases, so they stand out in the task list. Task assignment rules are configured if these specific cases need to be assigned to a specialized group of radiologists for reading. Escalation rules can also be employed to ensure quick response on highlighted cases.

For customers without Agfa RIS, the priorities could be setup in the Order Generation System (EMR, 3rd party RIS, ..).

To set-up COVID-19-specific work lists, please reach out to your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.

(*) Please know that depending on your region and current installation, some use cases may not be applicable to you. Please check with your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.

Click on the above image for an example of the set-up.
(patients listed are demo patients.)

2. Faster Reporting with COVID-19 Drop-down Menus and Text Macros

With suspected COVID-19 cases increasing rapidly, efficiency of radiology reading needs to be maximized.

In collaboration with an Enterprise Imaging customer, a series of COVID-19 specific drop-down menus with text macros have been created, covering f.e. ground-glass opacity, vascular thickening and scoring of affected areas in the lungs.

Apart from a faster reporting, it will also result in more consistent reports, which in a longer term will be beneficial for analytics and statistics.

The screenshots right and below show the report template with text macros and resulting report. Click on the images for a larger view.

To set-up COVID-19-specific drop-down menus and macros, please reach out to your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.

(*) Please know that depending on your region and current installation, some use cases may not be applicable to you. Please check with your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.

3. Remote and Home Reporting

To deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, the continuity of the radiology reporting activities is crucial. To guarantee this, care providers are expanding the remote reporting capabilities for their radiology teams.

In Ireland one of our Clinical Application Specialists was approached by a Radiologist who was concerned about being able to work should the need to self-isolate arise.

The hospital already had a VPN connection available as well as spare hardware, and within 20 minutes of assembling the spare clinical review workstation and a clinical monitor the radiologist was able to log in, use his own profile from the hospital and report in his own home, including full speech recognition, with images instantly available over a normal broadband connection.

To facilitate the set-up or expansion of your remote reporting capabilities and provide full home-office capabilities:

  • Contact your local support team. They will usually organize a virtual meeting (using Microsoft Teams or Webex) to facilitate and guide you through the remote set-up. It usually takes less than 1 hour to set up.
  • Please know a VPN connection to the hospital is mandatory.
  • For detailed specifications for hardware (workstation, display, graphic card and speech mike), please contact your local support team.
  • For more on remote reporting: click here

(*) Please know that depending on your region and current installation, some use cases may not be applicable to you. Please check with your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.

Partner Program North America
in collaboration with Barco

Through our partnership with Barco, Agfa HealthCare can offer a complete solution for remote diagnostic reporting, with validated laptop and workstation options depending on your needs.

Click Here – For more information on how to extend the power of the Enterprise Imaging platform. Or contact your Agfa HealthCare contact person.

4. COVID-19 Hanging Protocols

The diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of COVID-19 patients can consists of a series of medical imaging exams from different modalities.

Dedicated hanging protocols like the one pictured here allow to get a good overview of the patient imaging.

This example shows the active study on the left screen, with the right screen divided in 4 viewports where each viewport contains 1 comparison study. This can be a CR/DX study, but also CT or other modalities. With a double click on the viewport the study will be full screen.

For help on the configuration of this hanging protocol, please reach out to your local Agfa HealthCare support contact person.

(*) Please know that depending on your region and current installation, some use cases may not be applicable to you. Please check with your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.

Click on the above image for an a larger view.
(patient listed is demo patient)

5. Supporting Triage of High-Risk Patients

On request of a customer in the Middle East, we are currently integrating an additional Question & Answer survey in the Agfa HealthCare RIS.

This questionnaire will help the receptionist to capture valuable triage information and to evaluate the risk of infection before the creation of the order and image acquisition. The risk information is communicated to the technologist’s work list who can take the necessary precautions and protection.

The screenshot shows the questionnaire in Agfa HealthCare RIS.

Alternatively, the patient remark field in the Agfa HealthCare RIS can also be used to communicate patient related risk information to Enterprise Imaging, to inform both the technologist and radiologist. Please note that in this case, the information is linked to the patient (permanent), not to the specific order.

To set-up COVID-19-specific surveys, please reach out to your local Agfa HealthCare support contact person.

(*) Please know that depending on your region and current installation, some use cases may not be applicable to you. Please check with your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.

Click on the above image for an a larger view.

6. Real-time collaboration across quarantine-lines

During these challenging times efficient collaboration between care givers is more crucial than ever. To support this, several sites in the United Kingdom have recently enabled and added the XERO Viewer chat & share functionality to their Enterprise Imaging platform.

The functionality allows to securely view, review and share the studies. With the screen sharing feature colleagues can also review and collaborate on a study, in real-time, across quarantine lines.
In XERO Viewer, with the study open, it just takes a click on the “Share” button in the chat window to send the study to a colleague for review.
For more on the XERO Viewer chat & share functionality, please reach out to your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.

(*) Please know that depending on your region and current installation, some use cases may not be applicable to you. Please check with your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.

Click on the images above for a larger view

7. Balance the load – Image sharing across hospital networks and regions

In many countries, the COVID-19 outbreak requires the collaboration and image sharing across hospitals, hospital networks and geographical regions.
Some hospitals are centralizing triage of patients and depending on the case severity patients are sent for admission to different hospitals. Others are looking to balance the bed capacity and load with hospitals inside or outside their network.

With this growing need to collaborate across hospitals and geographical regions, timely and convenient sharing and transfer of imaging data is a must.

In the United Kingdom we are supporting customers balancing the COVID-19 load by connecting different sites, using the XERO Exchange technology.
They can view, share DICOM images and reports stored within the Enterprise Imaging for Radiology solutions. Based on hospital request, patient history can be shared as well.

In the Netherlands a nationally deployed COVID-19 portal solution has been introduced. Here we are supporting our customers in making DICOM images easily and efficiently available for other hospitals.

This way, after triage, all the patient’s imaging information is shared securely with the receiving care team, so they can prepare to treat the patient quickly upon arrival.

For more on the XERO Image Exchange functionality, please reach out to your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.

(*) Please know that depending on your region and current installation, some use cases may not be applicable to you. Please check with your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.

8. Adding COVID-19 specific terminology to the speech recognition lexicon

With new diseases come new terminology. 
Since they are not standard in the Radiology lexicon, we received feedback from some radiologists their speech recognition software for fast reporting was struggling with the recognition of new terms like Corona or COVID-19. This was slowing down the reporting turnaround, since repeated manual correction of the not-recognized terms was needed.

Customers in Belgium and Luxembourg, using Enterprise Imaging integrated with the Nuance Speech Magic recognition software, have quickly re-trained their Nuance Speech Recognition systems and added those new terms to the speech lexicon.

Once the new terms added, the speech accuracy for dictated words like COVID-19 has improved significantly and supports fast and accurate reporting in times that patient need fast diagnosis most for timely treatment.

  1. Use the Context Adaptation Tool:
    When the radiologist corrects the word that is not recognized, the new term will appear in the Nuance Context Adaptation Tool. An authorized user (secretary, key-users) can now add this new word the radiologist lexicon. See screenshot below left. Click on the image for a larger view.
  2. Use the ContextPro Tool
    Alternatively, use the ContextPro tool to add new terms in a pro-active way to the Radiologist lexicon. Once added, the recognition rate of the new terms will improve when used by the radiologist. See screenshot below right. Click on the image for a larger view. Contact your local Agfa HealthCare support for more information.

(*) Please know that depending on your region and current installation, some use cases may not be applicable to you. Please check with your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.

Click on the images above for a larger view

9. Business Intelligence: using data to better measure, understand, predict and take action.

Customers around the globe have been using Business intelligence tools to mine their radiology order and report data. Not only to help monitor the current pandemic, plan for radiology capacity but also to learn and be better prepared in case any future outbreak might occur.(*)

 Text search in radiology reports is a powerful tool to find emerging trends.
A pandemic usually starts small, but once gaining traction, can have a steep growth pattern. Catching it first signs early can help stop the spread. Or in this case, finding the root of when and where exactly the disease started to emerge. This is what customers in Italy have done. With text search in radiology reports on term like ‘pneumonia’, ‘pneumonitis’, or any other relevant terms, they were able to back-track the start of the outbreak.  At a later stage, once the disease was confirmed, report text search on terms like ‘COVID-19’ can be also be used for further research purposes.
Click on the 1st screenshot on the right for an example.

Optimizing radiology capacity in times of pandemic is key.
Agfa Healthcare Business Intelligence can help with daily monitoring in real-time of the number of radiology exams, by day, cumulative, per exam type like chest X-ray, CT-chest or point-of-care lung ultrasound. This allows departments to better understand, plan or re-organize radiology services capacity for adequate workflow and response time in time of crisis.
Click on the 1st screenshot on the right for an example.

Flagging reports and studies to gather insights for future research.
Even in the midst of a crisis, healthcare professionals remain dedicated not only to solve the short term challenge, but also gathering scientific insights for future research. Reports or studies can be flagged by using specific COVID-19 related UDP (user-definable properties) or predefined Keywords.  Business intelligence reports that allow to drill down on attributes like gender and age, can also add value insight in understanding this new disease pattern and further research.

Combining text-search and integration with Google Maps
Agfa HealthCare’s Business Intelligence solution can be integrated with Google Maps to help visualize geographical information that can help local decision making in the fight against the virus spreading, f.e by the visualization of infection clusters.
Click on the 2nd screenshot on the right for an illustrative example of the Google Maps integration.

(*) Please know that depending on your region and current installation, some use cases may not be applicable to you. Please check with your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.

Click on the screenshot above for a larger image

Click on the screenshot above for a larger image

10. eLearning – Access key knowledge when you need it most

In crisis moments, all the medical professionals are needed at the front line, but you also need them trained and up-to speed with the latest tools and procedures. Due to travel and social distancing restrictions, Agfa HealthCare’s subject matter experts are limited in providing on-site, face-to-face trainings.

For customers in Europe and the Middle East, an e-learning platform(*) has been deployed to provide easy access to key knowledge, that is available 24/7, providing the necessary flexibility needed during this COVID-19 crisis.

The eLearning platform hosts online courses for the different Enterprise Imaging desktops (diagnostic desktop, desktop for PACS administrators, …) as well as courses for the XERO Viewer.

With collaboration across quarantine lines crucial during the pandemic, XERO Viewer plays an essential role in accessing, viewing and sharing images. The on-line course is very well suited to get staff familiar with the tool quickly and up to speed in a timely manner.

In addition, while non-essential medical care is suspended temporarily, some staff is less busy during the crisis, and can use this moment to get trained for future projects. It is hoped that once the pandemic peak declines, things can slowly go back to normal. Hospitals are preparing for this moment as well and are already making plans for the roll-out of future IT projects. Getting your staff prepared in advance, using e-learning tools, can help speed up the roll-out of your future IT projects.

Some customers in the UK, The Netherlands and Belgium are currently providing training through the platform. For more information on how to make sure you and your staff can access the eLearning platform and stay up to date, contact your local Agfa HealthCare representative.

(*) Please know that depending on your region and current installation, some use cases may not be applicable to you. Please check with your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.

Click on the images above for a larger view of the screenshots

Partner Configurations

XERO Viewer & Microsoft Teams Integration for faster COVID-19 Response

As a response to COVID-19 and the need for intra-hospital and outer-hospital collaboration and image sharing Agfa HealthCare and Microsoft joined forces to connect their XERO Universal Viewer and Microsoft Teams platforms.

Realizing the potential benefit of connecting both platforms, Agfa HealthCare, Microsoft and Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust (PAHT) in the United Kingdom deployed a Share to Microsoft Teams integration. The integrated solution allows the over 450 users across the Trust to quickly share urgent imaging results from XERO and collaborate with other healthcare professionals connected to Microsoft Teams.

For more information about the MS Teams Integration at the PAHT, click here or reach out to your local Agfa HealthCare representative. (*)

(*) Please know that depending on your region and current installation, some use cases may not be applicable to you. Please check with your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.

MediReport – COVID-19 specific update available in CardioReport

Our partner for cardiology solutions (*), MediReport, is making a COVID-19 specific update available in the CardioReport reporting module.

This update helps to document the COVID-19 status of your patients:

  • When creating a procedure, a pop-up window allows you to indicate the patient’s COVID status, which is then automatically added to CardioReport non-cardiac history.
  • This pop-up window includes a link with recommendations on how to handle COVID+ patients in the Cath lab (room preparation, teams’ clothing…).
  • Procedures performed on COVID+ patients, as well as the room and medical team involved in the procedure will be listed in a specific tab of the activity report, facilitating the follow-up and any potential convocations that you might have to issue.

This COVID-19 is free of charge and requires no additional conditions than your current environment. The COVID-19 update will imply an update of your CardioReport software to the latest available version.

For more information, please get in touch with Raf Philtjens, Global Manager Cardiology Solutions, Agfa HealthCare Enterprise Imaging.

(*) this solution is not available in North America.

Dell Technologies, Barco, and Agfa HealthCare are teaming together to deliver complete solutions for remote diagnostic reading.

Solution priorities include escalation workflows, collaboration/communication tools, and providing Radiologists with a user experience that is identical to being in the hospital.

We are teaming with the best and stacking our solutions together: Agfa leverages Dell’s high-performance Mobile Precision workstations, Barco’s renowned multi-modality displays and display controllers’ and Barco’s eGFX mini enclosure for its dependable image quality and workflow. When combined, the solutions boost output and performance for the most demanding remote users.

Find out more. Download the #StrongerTogether brochure here

Share your COVID-19 specific configurations or set-up.

We believe we’re #StrongerTogether and we will continue to add additional use cases in the coming weeks.
Feel free to share your experience, your COVID-19 specific set-ups and configurations with Agfa HealthCare solutions.
We’ll be very happy to share them here.

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