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Recently our team sat down with Dr. Robert Falk, neuroradiologist and founder, Chief Medical Officer, and Board of Directors Member of 3DR Laboratories in Louisville, Kentucky, to discuss how he uses TeraRecon to help process almost 16,000 cases a month. 3DR Laboratories is the country's, and possibly the world's largest 3D Laboratory for doing advanced visualization and post-processing. They provide high-quality customized 3-D post-processed images 24 hours a day, seven days a week to hospital sites across the country with guaranteed turn-around times at a reasonable cost. The full conversation can be read below:
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION AND THE SERVICES THAT YOU OFFER?
3-DR Laboratories is the country's largest, and maybe the world's largest, 3D laboratory for advanced visualization. We provide high-quality, customized 3-D post-processing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at a reasonable cost. Though probably the most common reason that customer sites use us is that we free up their techs to focus on patient care and focus on scanner through-put rather than doing the busy work of advanced visualization.
CAN YOU TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMERS AND HOW MANY FACILITIES YOU SERVE?
The facilities that are interested in utilizing us is pretty much everything across the spectrum. Anybody who is providing advanced visualization services is a potential customer of 3-DR's. Most of them are sophisticated community level hospitals. But we do everything from academic centers to small imaging centers.
On a case by case basis we must satisfy three customers. First, is the radiologist reading the study and we must be sure to provide images back to that radiologist that satisfy them. Second, is the doctor who orders the study, and that physician's needs may be a little bit different than the radiologist. Of course, our third customer is the patient. A lot of the advance visualization that we do is utilized for patient education. We must answer the clinical question and give the patient the ability to look at those images and understand what is going on with him or her.
WHAT VOLUME OF STUDIES DO YOU PERFORM PER DAY, MONTH, OR YEAR? AND WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THAT DO YOU THINK IS TERARECON?
We perform about 15,000 to 16,000 studies a month right now and that is fairly consistent. We are open 24/7, 365 days a year. We are a little busier on weekdays than we are on the weekends. Right now, 20% of our work is done with TeraRecon.
ARE CUSTOMERS ABLE TO SELECT THEIR VENDOR OF CHOICE FOR POST-PROCESSING? AND IF SO, WHAT REASONS DO THEY GIVE FOR SELECTING TERARECON?
Yes, our customers can choose the software processing platform that they want. The most common reason for choosing TeraRecon is that they have TeraRecon in house and they like the ability to restore a session on their TeraRecon system that we have processed for them. If they need to do any other manipulation of the images, tweaking of the images, or get back to the raw data, they can do that.
The second most common reason is probably the radiologists were trained on TeraRecon, and because of that, they are comfortable with it and they like the fact that we use it. The third reason is that they enjoy the look of the TeraRecon images.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE OF A STUDY THAT COMES THROUGH YOUR OPERATION?
The way the work flow goes at 3DR Laboratories is that the patient is scanned at the customer site. Those images are then beamed securely over a VPN to our laboratory. We have internal software that times stamps the images, keeps track of the images, and makes sure they are handled in a proper way, and makes sure they go back to the same facility that they came from.
When they hit our servers, we do the case per the radiologist's specifications at the customer site. Our protocols are customized and work up the case the way the radiologist wants to be worked up, and then we return those images back to the customer site. Usually back into the PACS in a ready-to-read state.
HOW HAVE YOU BENEFITED FROM TERARECON? AND HAVE YOU SEEN A RETURN ON INVESTMENT?
First of all, TeraRecon is an excellent product. We put a lot of demands on the system that a lot of smaller labs do not because of our unique situation of being extremely high-volume, requiring rapid turn-around times, and requiring consistency. TeraRecon has been able to handle all of that. We need good image quality, a robust platform that offers a lot of different services, and platform that will always be up and running. We cannot afford down time or freeze ups of the software. So TeraRecon has provided us with a stable platform and a robust offering of services that we can beat up on and really push to the limits.
WHAT IS MOST IMPRESSIVE ABOUT OUR SOLUTION OR YOU KNOW, OUR TEAM?
The most impressive thing about working with TeraRecon has been the ability to collaborate, to work as a win-win situation for both organizations. TeraRecon has provided us a platform to deliver high-quality advanced visualization to our customers, to our physicians, and ultimately to our patients, which is what is most important.
Also, TeraRecon has shown flexibility. They have the same entrepreneurial spirit that we do and the same ability to see the big field and the big vision of where advanced visualization is going. They have been very helpful to us in working out the model of collaboration between our two organizations.
IF A POTENTIAL CLIENT WAS TRYING TO DECIDE WHETHER TO SELECT TERARECON, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM AND WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE?
My advice is the same as anybody asking about advanced visualization, you want to have a broad platform that does the job, that works efficiently, that has a lot of up time, and TeraRecon checks off every one of those boxes. They provide the tools needed to do the job.