Paul Chang, M.D., is a professor and vice chair of radiology informatics at the University of Chicago School of Medicine. He’s also an entrepreneur, having co-founded picture archiving and communications system vendor Stentor Inc., now Philips PACs after the company was sold to Philips Healthcare. And yes, the check from Philips was really big.

There remains plenty of opportunity for innovation in radiology and the best ideas come from those working in the trenches, Chang says. For instance, traditional vendor offerings don’t address radiologists’ revenue management needs as the specialty moves from fee-for-service to value-based payment models, he contends. Radiology has been a major revenue generator for hospitals, but under accountable care organizations it’s becoming a major cost center in an environment where costs have to fall while outcomes improve at the same time. So there is opportunity to offer new tools in radiology to understand how information moves and reduce overutilization of imaging.

At SIIM2013, the annual meeting of the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine, Chang will team with other clinical entrepreneurs to help educate and jump-start other innovators to act on their ideas. Over three 90-minute sessions, they first will walk through how to start turning an idea into an innovation, vetting a product in-house and the next steps to take toward commercialization. “Most of us who come up with new ideas have no idea how to commercialize it,” he notes.

The second session will focus on presenters’ own experiences and where they succeeded and failed in a more interactive discussion among themselves and the audience. The third session will be a town hall free-for-all with the audience encouraged to bring up their ideas, issues and questions in fully interactive discussions. “It used to be that we relied on industry to deliver the innovation,” Chang says. “Now, users are the true innovators and with software becoming more usable, users can act on their innovations.” Session One in Learning Track 1, “Innovators and Entrepreneurship,” is scheduled on June 6 at 9:45 a.m., with Session Two at 1:15 and Session Three at 3:45. More information is at siim2013.org.

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