Web-based service offers secure image & data sharing

By Kathy Kincade, Editor in Chief

November 1, 2011 -- "Brightsquid" may not sound like the name of an imaging company, but this young Canadian technology firm is bringing its Web-based image and data sharing service to dentistry to facilitate online communication among dentists, dental labs, and patients by centralizing information relevant to treatment.

Brightsquid was founded in 2003 by Deepak Kaura, MD, chief of radiology at the Alberta Children's Hospital and a clinical assistant professor at the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine. It was initially intended to provide a platform for sharing and discussing medical imaging in an educational setting.

But it has since expanded into an online collaborative tool for that uses "software as service" and cloud computing to enable all caregivers to view, annotate, and comment on a patient's treatment as it progresses, according to the company.

Brightsquid released a dental version of the service at the 2011 Chicago Midwinter Meeting, according to CEO Rohit Joshi, who joined the company in 2009 to help expand its services into dentistry.

"Dentistry is such a visual, aesthetic profession," he said. "But we couldn't find any tools to share this type of information online."

Click image to enlarge.
Brightsquid integrates with most dental practice management and laboratory systems, and enables digital x-rays, photos, patient case details, digital impressions, and CAD/CAM files to be shared among dentists, specialists, and labs.

Integrates with most practice management systems

Brightsquid integrates with most dental practice management and laboratory systems, and enables digital x-rays, photos, patient case details, digital impressions, and CAD/CAM files to be shared quickly and easily between dentist and lab without extra data entry or delay. Updated cases and notes from colleagues are presented on the home page, and cases can be shared with individuals or definable groups of colleagues ("study groups"). The system's Case Originator controls what data are shared and what level of access colleagues have to the data, and also maintains control over what happens with the case after it's shared. In addition, the Case Viewer allows users to annotate case images and associated information to share with colleagues.

“Dentistry is such a visual, aesthetic profession.”
— Rohit Joshi, chief operating officer,

"The system is entirely Web-based and occurs entirely within the user's existing Web browser," said Mark Eyre, implementation specialist at Brightsquid. "Customers don't have to install any software, and they can download, view, and even edit all images associated with a case. Brightsquid stores all the patient information and history. We handle everything on the back end, and users don't have to maintain it at all."

Dentists and specialists already email images and sensitive patient data or use non-HIPAA-compliant services such as Dropbox, YouShareit, or YouSendIt, he noted. Using Brightsquid, dental practitioners can ensure that the HIPAA requirements related to electronic sharing of patient information are met.

While image sharing is the main component of Brightsquid, "there is more to a digital dentistry case than images," Eyre said, such as all the communication that occurs between an oral surgeon and a dental practitioner on some cases. There is a visual timeline and calendar of events so users can view what happened with the patient when and see all the treatment history on one screen. Brightsquid also offers instant messaging and active notification, he added.

"That way the dentist can get notification on their handheld device that, say, the surgeon has finished the case," Eyre said.

New updates just released

In its latest iteration, released October 31, the company has added a single-click treatment planner to further streamline the referral process, according to Eyre. Custom treatment plans specific to a user's practice can be quickly generated, and specific stages of a plan or the entire treatment plan can be shared with one or more colleagues. In addition, the new Treatment-Centric Viewer gives the entire treatment plan's network of dentists and specialists a central view into the patient's progress through various stages of treatment.

All updates and enhancements are done automatically and at no additional charge to users, Brightsquid noted.

To date, the company claims 300 to 400 "influential users" around the world and has deals in place to grow that number to 5,000 users by mid-2012, Eyre added. Key to the company's strategy is collaborating with other companies and dental labs; current commercial partners include Sikka Software, Cordent Dental Advice Group, the Aurum Group, DTS International, Race Dental Laboratory, and Core 3D Centres.

In terms of cost to the end users, Brightsquid offers free subscriptions for light users of the system or a monthly subscription rate of $49 for premium access.

"The cost for a dentist can be free if they are sponsored by or associated with one of our partners," Eyre said. "So, for example, an oral surgeon could give all the doctors that refer to him free access."

In the long run, the company is looking to create a set of standards so users can communication about patients no matter what equipment they are using, Joshi added.

"We believe the market is fragmented with regard to Web-based, online tools," he said. "But our company is collaborating on the Internet to create software for collaborating on the Internet."

Copyright © 2011 DrBicuspid.com

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