A group of hospital trusts in Yorkshire and Humber have begun to use a new network for their radiology services to exchange images.
The Yorkshire Imaging Collaborative (YIC) has accelerated the implementation of the Xero Exchange Network developed by Agfa HealthCare in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the service going live across all the sites earlier this month.
It involves a lightweight cross-site connection using browser technology and HTTPS over public IP without the need for any specific interfaces.
This makes it possible for the connected hospitals to diagnose patients transferred between sites more quickly than previously possible.
YIC clinical lead Daniel Fascia said: “This new technology will transform the way hospitals deliver radiology services to patients for the better.
“Not only will the image sharing software reduce the time patients spend in hospital, it will allow for a quicker diagnosis and relieve pressures on radiology services across the region during this period of increased demand.”
YIC involves the NHS trusts for Airedale, Bradford Teaching Hospitals, Calderdale and Huddersfield, Harrogate and District, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Mid Yorkshire, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole and the NHS Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire and Humber.
Hull University Teaching Hospitals Trust will be connected at a later date.
An Agfa HealthCare spokesperson said a similar network is being used by three trusts in Suffolk and Essex, and that others are looking at the strategy.