teamplay Images: Sharing and communicating in a secure environment

When clinical staff cares for patients in different locations, secure communication is key.
09:25 AM

Image Credit: © CSIT Director of Medical Engineering Department in Shandong, China

Research has shown that 87%1 of clinical staff is using commercial smartphone apps to discuss patient cases at work despite 56%1 not being sure whether the information was secure. Considering that 67%2 of healthcare providers feel that image sharing is critical, the need for a solution that is integrated into a digital health platform and its security apparatus became clear. teamplay images3 is integrated into the teamplay digital health platform and includes a mobile application (IOS, Android), chat and live video calling, along with the ability to share DICOM files.

Because so many physicians are currently using commercial applications to send and comment on studies, it is leading to patient data being in an unnecessarily vulnerable position. So, we at Siemens Healthineers want to combine the features of a commercial chat application with the features of our current application, teamplay Images. This would give customers the ability to access their PACS via a DICOM node utilized by the teamplay digital health platform while also being able to chat, create chat groups, make calls, and have a video conference—all within one app.

teamplay Images is integrated into the workflow of the clinicians in a way that displaces current methods (commercial chat applications), where patient data could inevitably end up in a vulnerable position. But it also provides the possibility to preview the images with the ability to scroll through the slides and to change the windowing values. This allows our users to communicate to people at workstations, in real time4, 5.

One of our first customers is from the Provincial Hospital of Shandong First Medical University, Dr. Ma Xing Wu who is the CSIT Director of Medical Engineering Department in Shandong and president-elect of the Chinese Society of Imaging Technology. He is also critically responsible for going around to the smaller regional hospitals in cases that require his expertise or for teaching opportunities. 

This led us to one of the major challenges Dr. Wu was facing: the constant need to be in two places at once. This is a challenge many radiologists know too well. As the senior radiologist in his region, he often needs to go to the basic regional hospitals to help weigh in on important issues and cases. At the same time, he needed to be able to do the same tasks at the department in Shandong. teamplay Images helped to solve this problem by allowing him to work in a remote environment. He told us: “we can avoid the fatigue of traveling, with more focus on teaching tasks to enhance the capability of our hospitals.” The ability to collaborate over long distances is important, but the ability to quickly communicate regardless of distance is going to become the new normal in medicine.

The next challenge that needed to be met was participation in MDT (multidisciplinary team) consultations. In Shandong’s case, this was the heads of the various departments that needed to come together. Now, it is hard enough to get one director of a department into a meeting due to scheduling, but with 5 directors this could take up to 10 days; and even then, only a few cases could be discussed due to time constraints. With teamplay Images, they can simply create a group chat, called the ‘MDT team’. Within MDT team group chat they could share information and work out the cases by forwarding the images to any workstation. Dr. Wu even told us this helped to “facilitate the way we discuss these MDTs, and this process allows us to discuss more cases.” This gave them the flexibility to discuss these cases when and where they needed to.

The last challenge was one of the most important ones, security. All over the world, cybersecurity threats are ever-present, with 36% of them being in the healthcare market6 with the average cost of the break being $4297. Dr. Wu is also very sensitive to these issues, and he knew he could trust the teamplay digital health platform, he said “teamplay Images has data security and privacy protection built in. So, we can avoid some of the leaks and privacy concerns that we worry about during data transmission; in this way, we could practice the teaching workshop remotely within a safe environment.” The teamplay digital health platform develops solutions according to the “Privacy by design and by default” principle to ensure built-in data protection.

teamplay Images will give you the ability to collaborate, and that will support your clinicians in important case discussions. Yet, it will also give you the flexibility to allow you to communicate with the right device at the right time in a mobile or desktop environment, while staying secure in an infrastructure built for sharing DICOM files.

Find out more about teamplay Images

Foot Notes:

  2. Medical Image Sharing. (n.d.). Retrieved April 19, 2020, from
  3. teamplay is not commercially available in all countries. If the services are not marketed in countries due to regulatory or other reasons, the service offering cannot be guaranteed.
  4. internet connection is needed for access to the application, and a browser with HTML 5 is also needed for the desktop browser application
  5. teamplay Images is a non-medical device, the viewer is only for preview and not for diagnosis.
  6., August 2020
  7., June 2020
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