7 Things Worth Checking out at SIIM 2015

Society of Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) is having its 2015 meeting in Washington DC from 5/28-5/30. SIIM is a wonderful event with something to offer to engineers, clinicians, and radiology trainees alike. For a resident it is also an opportunity to learn something new.

Aside from all the cool sessions during conference, also do remember to touchbase with old friends and meet new people. The point of a great conference is the great people.

During the day, though, it can be daunting to keep abreast all the things that are going on.

Here are 7 events that compelled me as can’t-miss sessions – to be used as a roadmap for myself at the conference, and shared with you now:

A World Without PACS

Woodrow Wilson A
Thursday, 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Traditional PACS – solutions with vendors, hardware, and software all integrated as a single offering, is a decades-old technology – Slowly, imaging in America is moving towards vendor neutral archives (VNA).

The annual conference begins with Donald Dennison’s keynote on the shift away from traditional PACS. Prepare to hear about the pros, cons, what will happen, and how to be prepared.

Poster Sessions

Exhibit Hall CD
Thursday, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm; Various Times

Yes, every year there are incredible posters. The poster session is always worth checking out.

Among this year’s posters, these are the abstracts that piqued my interest:

XTenda: Web-Based Tools to Extend and Customize the Functionality of QGenda

QGenda is used at my own residency program. It is useful but clunky and sometimes rather unwieldy. I look forward to see what tools these folks at Emory came up with.

A Web-Based Radiology Resident Dashboard with Gamification for Enhancing the Residency Educational Experience

Funded by an RSNA educational grant, TROVE was first presented at the 2014 RSNA conference. It has the potential of making radiology residents’ lives easier, and gamification is always exciting.

Using Instagram to Deliver Radiology Education

At my hospital, one neuroradiologist uses Instagram to document various MRI and CT artifacts. It is exciting to see the same also being done elsewhere. When people from different places came up with the same good idea independently, you know they are onto something.

Partly Cloudy

Baltimore 3
Thursday, 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

One of the greatest impacts of popular information technology on imaging is the advent of cloud. At my hospital, doctors from satellite clinics began to upload the DVDs their patients brought in from their office computer and ask for an opinion of a radiologist.

Did cloud sharing improve the care at your hospital? Are you having trouble implementing cloud sharing? Or did it go surprisingly smoothly for your practice? The roundtable discussion session “Partly Cloudy – Sharing Diagnostic Images over Cloud Services,” hosted by Dr. Chadalavada and me, may have answers for you.

Open Source & Apps Plug Fest

Exhibit Hall CD
Friday, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm; Various Times

“Open-source” is a word that makes many think that it’s only for computer programmers. Not so! For anyone interested in informatics, open-source projects often in their nascent stages, projects that can hold great promises.

The plugfest is good for informaticists looking for inspiration by how others have realized a novel idea, or those looking to jumpstart their own projects with readily available code.

It is also a great place to check out Capricorn, an open-source project created by yours truly and winner of last year’s Open-Source Leadership Award.


Woodrow Wilson A
Friday, 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

“Does it come with a REST API?” is generally a smart question to ask of most data management solution vendors.

Although the inclusion of “API” makes it sound like a programmers-only topic, this educational session is probably more helpful for those holding buying power in a radiology practice. For anyone in a leadership position to communicate with radiology vendors, knowing about REST-based API can help unlock a tech product’s full potential and get the best return on investment.

Veering into Uber’s Lane

Annapolis 1 & 2
Friday, 4:15pm – 5:15pm

Online startups such as Uber, GrubHub, and longstanding giants like Amazon build their empires by making the experience in the least painful way possible. After all, people like rides, food, and shopping; they don’t like paying money.

Can we do the same for our patients by streamlining their experience in imaging?

This white boarding event aims to brainstorm for ideas that could kickstart the next revolution in streamlining the imaging experience for patients.


Conferences are great for catching up with old friends and meeting new people alike, not to mention the incredible cognitive material flowing through the halls of the convention center. Making a point to attend at least a few of the sessions can help expand our own understanding of an otherwise very complex subject.

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Howard Chen
Vice Chair for Artificial Intelligence at Cleveland Clinic Diagnostics Institute
Howard is passionate about making diagnostic tests more accurate, expedient, and affordable through disciplined implementation of advanced technology. He previously served as Chief Informatics Officer for Imaging, where he led teams deploying and unifying radiology applications and AI in a multi-state, multi-hospital environment. Blog opinions are his own and in no way reflect those of the employer.

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