WINDHOEK– Fujifilm South Africa and medical distributor Uni Medical Supplies have implemented a significant project in Namibia, set to improve general healthcare across the nation. The commissioning ceremony for Fujifilm’s state-of-the-art Synapse RIS and PACS platforms was held yesterday at the Mercure Hotel, Windhoek. The event was attended by numerous dignitaries, including Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, Namibia’s Minister of Health and Social Services, who delivered the keynote address.
The Fujifilm Synapse RIS (Radiology Information System) and PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) platforms serve Windhoek Central Hospital, Katutura State Hospital, Oshakati State Hospital, Rundu Intermediate Hospital and Onandjokwe State Hospital. This is the largest deployment of its kind in Namibia, with these five sites now linked, even though the hospitals are considerable distances apart.
Medical distributor Uni Medical Supplies won the tender from Namibia’s Ministry of Health and Social Services in 2021. The company was instrumental in planning and installing the Fujifilm Synapse RIS/PACS system across the country, with it going live in March of this year.
The value of RIS/PACS
Fujifilm’s Synapse RIS/PACS system ensures the efficient management of information related to radiological examinations across hospitals. The RIS platform helps with the scheduling and reporting of radiology appointments. Imagery acquired from there, whether CT scans or x-rays, is then digitally stored on the PACS system, from where doctors can view the images and diagnose the patient.
This allows for the ability to remotely diagnose patients from outlying areas. Through the Fujifilm Synapse RIS/PACS system, all the data and imagery doctors need can be viewed digitally almost immediately, meaning a doctor located in Windhoek can diagnose a patient from Rundu without having to travel there. This shortens the time frame for treatment, also addressing the availability of healthcare for remote patients.
Artificial intelligence also included
Furthermore, four out of five of the hospitals are now equipped with Fujifilm’s state-of-the-art REiLI artificial intelligence (AI) platform, which offers breast and chest abnormality detection. Using AI, REiLI examines patients’ radiological imagery (2D/3D scans or x-rays) to flag abnormalities for radiologists to inspect further.
For example, Fujifilm’s REiLI can identify a breast abnormality, such as a lesion or mass, for doctors to inspect further. Similarly, there are 33 different chest abnormalities REiLI can flag, including the presence of tuberculosis, a punctured lung, pneumonia or a broken rib. This relieves the time burden often experienced by staff in having to manually inspect radiological imagery, with REiLI also able to escalate patient care in case of after-hours emergencies.
Highly secure data storage
All data is securely stored on servers located in a data centre at a Ministry of Health and Social Services facility in Windhoek. There is also a second disaster recovery centre to address data redundancy.
Fujifilm’s Synapse RIS and PACS platforms have been successfully implemented across numerous hospitals across the globe, including in Japan, the United States of America, India and South Africa.
Speaking at the system commissioning ceremony, Taro Kawano, Managing Director of Fujifilm South Africa, said, “Fujifilm’s healthcare division is dedicated to a healthier world, and I truly believe our Synapse RIS/PACS platform will help improve the overall health and well-being of the Namibian citizens. We thank the Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services for seeing the value of this platform and the benefits it holds for the country’s healthcare system.”