Providers moving to digital workplaces and hospitals know that amidst the transition, unstructured content volumes are exploding. Where we mainly dealt with medical images in the past, we now see the need to store, manage and access many types of unstructured content in the course of care delivery, including but not limited to medical images from radiology and other departments, still photographs, video and audio recordings and free text reports and notes. How we deal with this content and incorporate it into clinical workflow, mainly delivered via the EHR's front end, is changing, and with this comes the need for a patient-centric evolution of the vendor-neutral archive (VNA), which IDC has defined as the application-independent clinical archive, or AICA.
AICAs extend the storage and efficiency benefits that vendor-neutral archives (VNAs) already deliver to departments like radiology that traditionally handle large volumes of DICOM images, to additional departments in the health system and an expanded set of unstructured contents types, such as photographs, video, audio and other formats. AICAs are designed to act as an unstructured content repositories for the enterprise, storing all types of unstructured content in a patient-centric manner that makes it available to both clinical and image management systems. As more types of patient data and images are being shared across departments and affiliated organizations, providers seek to provide a level of transparency and information access to this data, regardless of the modality or application with which an image was created. They also seek to unite related unstructured content captured in other systems with the patient-centric information being captured in the electronic health record (EHR).
AICA is, in many ways, a second generation of VNA, but the AICA is differentiated from the VNA by the notion of patient centricity and the shift in focus from storage rationalization to enhancing clinical relevance. In the AICA, data and images are stored and organized to form a longitudinal record of unstructured content associated with the patient's medical treatment. AICA's combination of clinical relevance and patient centricity adds tools and analytics - available to bring further value from data and enhance decision making in the organization - to the EHR and decision support environment. AICA makes patient data active for longer: even older patient data stored in an AICA becomes more accessible and forms a longitudinal record that can be useful to current care delivery.
Many new products and releases in the VNA space embody the notion of the transition to AICA, and IDC-HI plans to cover this space in detail in upcoming regional IDC MarketScape reports; I will be launching this research in collaboration with Silvia Piai this month. Also find a recent report covering a new supplier offering, HI#249560, Perspective: Agfa ICIS - A New Approach to Unstructured Content Archiving, available at http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=HI249560. If you have questions or interest in the AICA and VNA MarketScape, contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or Silvia Piai email@example.com.