An in-depth conversation on the stage of data in the medical world.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as Life Image.
Matthew Michela: I’m the President and CEO of Life Image. Life Image is a medical evidence-based technology platform that services a wide variety of healthcare entities and partners inside the healthcare ecosystem on a global scale. We’re a relatively mature company of about 11 years.
We’re best known as someone that helps with access to medical information. We have about 10,000 hospitals in the United States where we are their interoperability layer for access to medical information. Roughly, there’re another 60,000 or so hospitals and clinics globally that connect into our broad network.
With that ability to access, move, normalize, identify, and curate medical information, we’re putting in the hands of physicians information in order to make medical decisions, diagnosis, and treatment. Those can be use cases for oncology, stroke, neuro, or urgent care. We serve all of those at an enterprise level.
We also work with technology companies building AI. We work with clinical trial companies developing drugs and devices. We work with telehealth companies and care management companies. Think of our services here at Life Image as the network that connects medical organizations and people that need medical information for any purpose.
Sramana Mitra: Is it specifically imaging data or is it all kinds of data?
Matthew Michela: It’s all kinds of data. The company was originally formed to focus exclusively on imaging data, which is still the most complicated type of medical information that is the least accessible and interoperable.
Life Image was born in that space. Over the course of the past decade of our existence or precisely 11 years, it has spent a tremendous amount of energy being able to access and normalize that data.
We’re the only company that can actually access medical imaging from any device, from any manufacturer, from any modality, institution, and facility. We can both access that data and transport it and combine it with other types of data that clinicians or a company building other kinds of medical technologies might need in order to leverage where they are.
While we grew up in imaging and we’re big and broad across our network, roughly about 40% of the medical information that moves across our network is actually not medical imaging itself. It’s pharma and genomics.
Since we are highly-interoperable and can conform to all healthcare standards around data types, that allows us to connect more easily with other types of institutions and organizations that need medical information of any form.
Sramana Mitra: Does that mean that you started Life Image with the imaging core competency and then you created all this workflow and network. Then you discovered that it applies to all data and not just imaging data. Is that a correct observation?
Matthew Michela: You’re exactly right. The original use case of the company was trying to get a medical image between two different departments within Massachusetts General Hospital in less than six calendar days, which was their standard method of putting it to physical media and moving it in and around the institution.
In 2019, it seems to be a silly use case with email and everything else we have. Back then, medical imaging was incredibly non-interoperable. Physical media was the only way that it moved. We started that use case. We solved imaging management within the institution connecting to all types of technology stacks.
That was our requirement. It evolved to moving information between institutions themselves focused primarily on imaging and then developing additional healthcare standards and integration levels into the workflow at the provider level to make that happen. You’re exactly right. That’s the evolution.