Author Archives: Jacques gagnon

COVID-19 – We must act now

Doctors from the CIUSSS[1] serving the SaguenayLac-Saint-Jean region are sounding the alarm. In an opinion letter published November 21st in the newspaper Le Quotidien, the doctors who sit on the CIUSSS’s coordinating committee asked for the public’s collaboration with regard to following the Public Health’s safety guidelines that advise people to social distance and to wear a face mask.


[1] CIUSS– Acronym for Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux | University Integrated Health and Social Services Centre.

Jacques Gagnon, who is the president of Imagem, a firm that specializes in the development of technologies used in the field of health information and administration, strongly supports the doctors of the Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean region. Gagnon, who is an engineer by training, works in close collaboration with health professionals, and he is of the opinion that following distancing guidelines is foremost a matter of respect.

Gagnon observes that every day, in addition to doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists, there are teachers, personal support workers and many workers in other fields who put their lives at risk. They are on the frontline providing essential services. They make huge personal sacrifices on a daily basis to help the population. Not following the public health’s guidelines is a show of disrespect to these workers and a lack of appreciation of the work they do.       

At this time, it’s clear that the Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean region is not doing very well case wise. Every day, the report of hundreds of new COVID-19 cases casts a spotlight on the region for all the wrong reasons.

Jacques Gagnon believes that it’s time for people to take this matter seriously. People have to stop behaving childishly. Truth is that we hardly know anything about this virus. Scientists can hypothesize and anticipate some consequences, but we don’t have any experience in dealing with what is happening. We ignore what kind of long-term side effects the virus might have on our health and on our lives. There are no guarantees even if we do develop a vaccine. Now more than ever, we must be vigilant, we must be concerned with what is happening and we must do what it takes to come out on top.

United We Stand Against the Virus

According to Gagnon, the Quebec provincial government must send a clear message to the population. There is no room for half measures like relaxing the rules for the upcoming holiday season. He also imagines that if things don’t get better, even Santa might need to be put on a ventilator. It doesn’t take a million ailing patients to overwhelm our health system. Our system is already hard pressed. We must protect our frontline workers and the members of their families. Gagnon maintains that social distancing is the key.   

As for those who think they are immune to the risks, and worst, who allege a conspiracy, the founder of Imagem offers words of caution. Reliable and credible sources of information help the quest for truth. Scientists do not possess absolute knowledge. The very essence of a scientist lies justly in having no certainty and this is why they keep on studying, observing and comparing while pursuing the objective of truth. The strategy they propose to limit the spread of the virus represents the best hope of a real solution.  

Within his field of expertise, Jacques Gagnon favours this same scientific approach when undertaking a new project or whenever he needs to intervene in a situation. “Facts” – that’s the only thing that provides certainty.

In support of the message sent by the doctors of the region, Gagnon, in turn, invites the population to do its part in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus. The Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean must reverse the cycle. For the common good of all people and for the protection of essential workers and their family members, let’s follow the guidelines put in place by Public Health, let’s practice social distancing and let’s stand in solidarity.

Jacques Gagnon wishes to remind people that showing respect for frontline workers is a show of respect for life.

Data in times of crisis

Is your personal health data at risk during the pandemic?

If we are talking about risks related to physical facilities and possible intrusions, the level of risk is low. When we act in urgency, available resources are allocated to the crisis; in this case, people are mostly providing care. Ordinarily, focus is on running the hospital, treating patients according to established protocols and codes of conduct. However, these are not ordinary times. Hospital administrators must maintain patient capacity and add to that a critical management component to be able to deal with a hereto-unknown pandemic, a unique and historic event. Employees find themselves in a demanding situation where the atmosphere is tense and where they feel stress and fear.

The system must embody the essence of its mission of care, which lies in the hands of those who provide it. For them, we must meet the needs of their work environment and practice.

What does the pandemic tell us about health data?

We have a new and compelling need for data to show the spread of the virus and case distribution as well as the number of tests that have been administered and of people that have tested positive. We also need data to follow up on cases, to base equipment purchases and ensure good supply management and training. Jacques Gagnon, CEO of Imagem, a high-tech firm specialized in managing data collected and processed by health systems, compares the role of his firm to that of an orchestral conductor, as it must automate complex processes that are under development.

Crisis managers have different needs, but they require mental agility and must be in a reactive mode in order to give and obtain crucial information. They also need information that is accessible and accurate, readily available and adaptable. Imagem can demonstrate its capabilities to fully meet those needs.        

Just like a conductor, Imagem must automate complex processes that are under development.

Crises do occur and more will happen. We must take that into consideration and introduce flexibility as a precondition.

Not the least of the lessons to be remembered is that we should learn to look after our own affairs and stop counting on others, who are anyways busy looking after their own business. For us, buying locally doesn’t mean that we are closing ourselves off to the world; it’s rather a way of preserving a degree of autonomy and providing solutions to our situation.

Imagem’s vision is the most rewarding one can have: to take control of our technological destiny, here, where we live.

Apply rigour to all that we do

At Imagem, rigorousness comes in first place. Jacques Chagnon maintains that, in the current context, doctors carrying out treatment need to receive precise and errorless information. This rigorousness is of particular importance in these challenging times. The firm works diligently to ensure that the medical records that are produced remain flawless and that the records are sent to the people who need to have access to them. In addition to having its own set of domestic practices, Imagem has invested time and money to gain international accreditation and has completed all requirements in the recognition process for MDSAP (Medical Device Single Audit Program) and ISO 13485. Every year, Imagem undergoes an internal and an external audit. These certifications propel Imagem into the big league next to international players in the field.

“In the current context, doctors carrying out treatment need to receive precise and errorless information.”

DICOM PACS SERVER

Image Transfer to an Agfa PACS Server

This document is an effort to demystify the interactions between a PACS Server, radiology equipment and other PACS.

The DICOM protocol was established to resolve interfacing and communication issues with radiology equipment called modalities, which produce images for diagnostic purposes. This mainly relates to installing a server in such a way that it communicates with various modalities by using transfer protocols. The server makes images accessible to reading stations. However, the protocol does not establish how the server must operate internally; the transfer alone determines the success of the communication. The production of DICOM images is represented in the left part of the following figure.

Over time, we wanted to send some images to third party DICOM servers. The publication is represented in the right-hand side of the figure. It is important to note that a server is used to only stock and exchange images; a server doesn’t modify images.

DICOM Steps to Image Production

All images come from various modalities and manufacturers and they are all stored on the PACS server and added to its database. Over the course of 20 years of operation, Imagem has incorporated into its server technology an extensive range of imaging devices manufactured by GE, Siemens, Agfa, Hologic, Philips, Swissray, Toshiba, Kodak and others.

DICOM Steps for Displaying Images

Images can be sent to another destination, to another PACS

Load Balancing

We ignore what occurs exactly on the network between the Autorouter and the Destination, because we don’t have any control on the path that is taken. Also, we cannot know what the Destination does before and after it responds. Let’s suppose that the Destination utilizes load balancing

Factors behind the slowdown

The slowdown may be caused by different factors.

HL7 Messages and Base64 Encoding

HL7 Messages and Base64 Encoding

HL7 standards are widely used across the world to exchange clinical data. Rules for transmitting data are based on the use of readable ASCII characters. Messages can therefore be easily read. Each message comprises a sequence of segments. The first segment of a message always begins with 3 ASCII characters, the letters ‘MSH’ for Message Header. Other segment types found in a message can begin for example with ‘PID’ for Patient Identification. Elements within a segment are contained within symbols such as the pipe ‘|’ used to separate the fields, the caret ‘^’ used to separate the components, the ampersand ‘&’ to separate subcomponents and the tilde ‘~’ to indicate a field repetition.

An HL7 message allows you to insert binary files, such as images, or readable text, such as RTF encoded text, for example.

The important thing to remember here is that the HL7 protocol has been developed using readable text.

Problems

When we have a standard, such as HL7, that uses a text or ASCII based protocol, we run into the problem that when the information is encoded, the system inserts a character, which the parser recognizes as a control character. For example, if we want to use the ampersand character (&), in a message, such as “chest XR PA&LAT” or “Gilbert & Son”, the ‘&’ character must be converted, because within the HL7 standard it is a control character.

The problem is exacerbated when we have a whole document converted as an RTF file. The RTF format consists of ASCII readable characters and ASCII control words, such as <CR> for carriage return or <LF> for line feed.  

The <CR> that you find in the RTF file is also used in HL7 to mark the end of a segment. In reports, the tilde (~) is used to express an approximation and it is also a control character in HL7.

We can see that serious errors can occur without careful attention. And although the parser has the capability of recognizing characters it does not possess the ability to think.

Solutions

There are two solutions to this problem. The first is to replace the characters that we want to use in a message – and that are used by HL7 as control characters – by escape sequences. For example, if we want to insert “chest XR PA&LAT”, the sequence will be “chest XR PA\T\LAT”.

The second would be, when we have an RTF file to insert, to convert or encode the text to BASE64, which will consequently remove all special characters from the ASCII sequence of the RTF file. Conversion to BASE64 also enables you to insert binary files, such as images or WAV or MP3 sound files, among others, into the data file and ensures the preservation of the integrity of the data to be transferred.

Here is an example of a BASE64 encoded string, which represents an RTF report:

Here is an example of a BASE64 encoded string, which represents an RTF report:

Note of Caution

If, while analysing the content of a message, the parser encounters a character that it recognizes as a control character, it will reject the message. This might be difficult to detect.

The HL7 is an exchange standard for the transfer of important health information and results between two applications or systems that must share a patient’s health data. It goes without saying that the exchange processes cannot alter, in any way, pieces of data included in a report. Parties who play a role in the data exchange must therefore recognize their obligations and ensure that the reports they send are properly encoded. At this time, and in related cases, Imagem must parse RTF reports to extract conflicting characters with HL7. Since this involves a structural alteration that may lead to erroneous reports, Imagem shall not be liable in such cases. Imagem encourages managers and decision makers to ask their suppliers to correct this deficiency that Imagem considers critical. Imagem wouldn’t tolerate this bad practice, which it considers an error that needs to be corrected.

Placing humans in the forefront

Placing Humans in the forefront

For Jacques Gagnon, CEO of Imagem, humans occupy the forefront of everything, even computer-related occupations, which surprises most. Behind a piece of software, there is an entire team that works at bettering the daily operations of users on the account of the technologies the firm has developed. Every need for intervention is dealt with to address problems with clients. No one is seeking the person to blame; no one has bad intentions. This approach where we place value on the individual should be encouraged.

Imagem is based in the Saguenay. The firm creates software to be used in the field of healthcare and its products are used to a great extent by many hospitals in the province. Gagnon mentions that we often forget that there are humans behind the software. For software to be considered efficient, users must be able to understand it and use it to their advantage, which is not always easy to do. In an environment as complex as that of healthcare facilities, and where errors can have serious consequences, Imagem must find ways to facilitate the process of certain tasks that professionals, who experience high stress levels, must perform.

Clients who deal with Imagem not only need software, they need help. The software may be part of the solution. And by choosing Imagem not only do they have access to its software, but they also benefit from its services and of its organizational culture centred on the individual.

This particular way of doing things makes this firm stand out in its field. Imagem is not a multinational business. Clients must appreciate us for us to continue. This is why Imagem attaches such great importance to meeting clients in their environment. When speaking face-to-face, professionals come to understand the frame of mind and the situation in which the user finds himself or herself, no matter the nature of the problem. Gagnon mentions that human interaction is essential to the operation of his software. It allows Imagem to better understand a client’s expectation and the situation.

More importantly, Imagem places the individual at the centre of its corporate culture. When Jacques Gagnon has to choose a candidate, he often gives precedence to the qualities of the person before weighing in their technical skills, which can be developed with time. If we can’t place individuals at a high priority within the organization, Imagem will find it hard to place this priority at the forefront with its clients says the CEO.

The Importance of Valuing the Individual as a Human Being 

According to the CEO, the importance of valuing the individual as a human being is a priority that lies at the core of Imagem. This approach is of inestimable value for their software suite. However, it can’t be monetized. Gagnon wonders if greater value shouldn’t be given to human consideration. Why not include this aspect in call for tenders? Project owners evaluate us according to a series of technical functionalities. Wouldn’t the capacity, the achievement potential, the quality and the timeliness of service be more important? asks the founder of Imagem.

Gagnon would love to see people give more consideration to elements other than the monetary value a business has to offer such as the expertise capital, the institutional culture and the quality of life that it creates. He cites as an example hedge funds, where businesses are being destroyed on the sole basis of short-term profits.

“We often forget that there are humans behind the software. For software to be considered efficient, users must be able to understand it and use it to their advantage, which is not always easy to do,” says Jacques Gagnon.

Quality Policy

Quality Policy

Imagem, including its personnel, is committed to providing a high level of quality at all levels of its operations, which are governed by the ISO 13485 standard. This standard establishes requirements to ensure product and service quality and customer satisfaction, while respecting recognized regulatory and legal requirements and in keeping with our field of activities.

The members of our staff show an ongoing commitment to learning about quality requirements through documentation and to supporting the standards and the processes set out in the documentation.

Management is also committed to:

  • Preserving a quality culture and to getting all members of the personnel to fully adhere to this culture.
  • Providing the quality management framework with all the means and resources at the firm’s disposal required to attain objectives and address strategic issues.
  • Making every effort to ensure that the Quality Policy is actively promoted, well understood and implemented by all, at all levels of the organization.

The Quality Policy is approved by

Jacques Gagnon, engineer

Chief Executive Officer

Our clients’ satisfaction is the true measure of the quality of the products and services we provide.

Imagem: constantly refining its expertise

Imagem: constantly refining its expertise

Imagem made its way into the healthcare system by accident. After all, what does running a simulation showing metal waves melting at Alcan and one showing the effect of treatment on tumours have in common other than using simulations for research purposes. No matter, different people came together, seized an opportunity and brought together their experience in engineering to create Imagem. 

Digitalization of the images from the radiation simulation

At the end of the 1990s, the process involved in preparing a patient for a radio therapy treatment is how Imagem acquired an understanding of the first issues in health information technology: information has to be easily accessible, and the process to have access to the information needs to be transparent and non-invasive.

Doctors need a simulator to prepare patients for radiotherapy treatment. Radiation is damaging and it should carefully target cancer cells. By using fluoroscopy, a doctor gets to see on a screen the organs of a patient in real time. Imagem undertook the project to digitalize the real-time images so that they could be displayed even when targeted radiation stops.

While researching our options, a doctor indicated preferring not to change his working methods, which required that he press a pedal to activate the radiation beam and to turn on the screen to see the image of the organs. By digitalizing the images, Imagem was able to improve the images by developing algorithms and have them displayed on the screen even when the pedal wasn’t pressed. Before then, a doctor would have seen a blank screen. 

Imagem met the doctor’s requirements without any need for him to change his work method. From then on, even without pressing on the pedal, he had access to the images without having to emit a radiation beam on the patient.

The project progressed and was completed, without ever stopping, over the course of more than 5 years.

Device used in radiation oncology to generate contours

In the simulation room, the medical physicist uses the precise measurements of a patient’s body to calculate the location of the tumour and the dose of radiation a patient will need.

Imagem built a device similar to that of a robot’s arm that could digitize the contours of a patient’s body in 3D at the level where the tumour was located. The collected data was then processed and sent to the software used by the physicist. Through this project, we became aware of the responsibility of these important healthcare players when it comes to treating patients. We also learned about all the advanced safety measures that are put in place to protect them. By desire and determination, we also became entrusted with a part of this responsibility. From there comes the second issue: security and responsibility.  

This project was implemented in two radiation oncology centres, and our device was used for over 5 years without any indication of a malfunction.   

Digital diagnostic imaging 

In the late 1990’s, there weren’t many digital devices in Québec and in the rest of Canada. Right from the start though, Imagem was interested in the use of digital diagnostic imaging (DDI) in healthcare, which was an emerging technology at the time. The engineers working at Imagem thought that DDI was a path to the future and that is why they took action.

This is when Imagem also made its mark; one of rigour and integrity from the very start as the firm emphasized the necessity to integrate the existing data on patients, focusing on interoperability before its time. Imagem also conducted the process of digitalizing X‑ray images so radiologists could have a complete patient file with results of previous examinations on film. The first beneficiaries of this system were the medical archivists who now had access to digitized information.

Imagem installed the first fully integrated teleradiology system in 2001; radiologists would use this system remotely just as if they had been physically at the hospital. Emergency physicians could rapidly, often before a patient was out of the examination room, listen to a radiologist’s vocal report. This provided great benefit regarding the quality of care.

Imagem also considers itself a forerunner in the development of the methods utilized to store images, by using hard disks and multiple copies for redundancy. This improved access to the images required for file preparation. Digital diagnostic imaging has become over the last 20 years the spearhead of the firm.

Interview: offer a vision

1. PACS V.1 Negative X (1995)

First PACS viewer: it processes the information from the images captured with various digitizers such as Howtek, Cobra Scan and Vidar. Imagem develops its expertise in digital diagnostic imaging and builds its knowledge on its clients’ areas of interest.

2. PACS V.2 Imapacs (2000)

Dicom PACS Server Imapacs v.2, Imadiag viewer, Imaview viewer, Imaris radiology information system (RIS), dictation included, with Playdiag transcription, implementation with digitalization of previous X-ray images stored on hard disks – an innovation at the time. The installation used SunRay thin clients and a Citrix application server. Creating interfaces between other applications and radiology devices became our speciality. Imagem starts its research and collaboration with different universities, in particular the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC), and the School of Advanced Technology (ÉTS).

The suite Interview comes into existence with its 8 applications. The suite of software was used by 2 hospitals and ran for 10 years.

3. PACS V.3 Imapacs (2010)

Dicom PACS server Imapacs v.3, Gemini viewer, Imaview viewer, Imaris radiology information system (RIS) v.2, Psvox dictation and PSscript transcription, implementation with digitalization of previous X-ray images stored on hard disks – an innovation at the time.

The suite of software was used by 2 hospitals and ran for 7 years.

Postscriptum: medical report, dictation, transcription and voice recognition

A radiologist would produce his reports using a microphone and a tape cassette. Imagem proposed a more efficient tool, creating its first medical dictation and transcription system. Doctors could immediately listen to the radiologist’s voice recorded report regarding a patient. This was a fully integrated system reserved for radiology professionals. 

The Postscriptum Suite features 20 applications and is used in more than 40 healthcare institutions.

Contact us if you would like more information on our products and services.

The Responsibilities of a PACS and RIS Supplier

The responsibilities of a PACS and RIS supplier

For non-specialists, programming is often seen as a mysterious universe where preconceived ideas take root. Have you ever said about software or an application that a certain task was « not so complicated » to accomplish, that you only needed to « do this » to produce the desired result? In truth, the path leading to an efficient application often takes turns and presents many unforeseen obstacles… Who knows what kind of bug you might encounter?    

We have all gone through frustrating moments after having lost some data because of a bug or a human error. Luckily, it’s rarely a matter of life or death. However, in a healthcare setting, such extreme cases do exist.

A PACS and RIS supplier must therefore assume important responsibilities: thousands of professionals are relying on these applications in order to carry out their healthcare work, day in, day out; dozens of thousands of examinations are performed non-stop on a daily basis, hardly slowing down at night, to which are attached medical reports that need to be written up. Since doctors and other health professionals rely on these systems to make a diagnosis, the slightest error, should such clinical systems suffer a malfunction, could pose serious risks for patients.  

Diagnostic imaging is at the very heart of modern medicine. When linked to a patient’s personal information, it ensures that the treatment that a patient is receiving is the one for his or her condition. It is therefore essential to ensure the efficient functioning of the RIS/PACS systems and the integrity and delivery of the accurate information. The responsibility of this task lies with the supplier who will make sure that all devices are working correctly.

When Barriers Call for Creative Solutions

In spite of the variety of needs, Imagem doesn’t produce different versions of its Interview suite, its RIS/PACS product. Adaptations measures are integrated into the Suite and provide flexibility, but in time, they might meet an obstacle:

  • Respect the specificities and the working methods of each healthcare facility;
  • Dispute resolutions over design and improvement requests and the actual system;
  • Evolving needs along the way;
  • Compatibility between different versions;
  • Maintaining software levels and keeping track of versions used by clients and of updates that need to be done.

Imagem is fully aware of the seriousness of the responsibilities that lie with its mission to help those who are helping. Everything has therefore been set up to ensure that its RIS/PACS systems work correctly. Therefore, Imagem will:

  • Install the latest tested versions of all its products when completing a new installation;
  • Maintain software levels and keep track of database and operating system updates that need to be done between clients by taking into account the particularities of the environments (updates may require that versions be sequenced to ensure a secure transition);
  • Proceed with data migration when necessary;
  • Establish an action plan in cooperation with healthcare administrators and professionals to avoid misunderstandings and needless worries.

And to meet his responsibilities, a RIS/PACS supplier must first establish a relationship of trust in order to facilitate communication between all parties involved.

Imagem: Great teamwork that ultimately benefits all Quebeckers.

Labour shortages: a problem for employers

Labour shortages: a problem for employers

Jacques Gagnon, CEO of Imagem, a high-tech firm specialized in managing data collected and processed by health systems, doesn’t believe that a labour shortage exists; he thinks it’s more of a mismatch between demand and offer. While many firms are actively seeking to hire employees, Gagnon, an engineer by trade, thinks that the situation could improve if administrators changed their mindset. According to him, administrators don’t invest enough in human resources, which can result in workforce retention problems and this is a matter of growing concern in all spheres of activity.

For 25 years, Imagem has been working at creating software to help healthcare professionals carry out their daily activities. Among its flagship products are two software suites, Interview and Postscriptum, which have been developed to respond to the challenges linked to the management of diagnostic imaging and the creation of medical reports. Needless to say, this firm that is based in the Saguenay, has grown significantly over the years, in such a way that it has had to recruit new talents more times than none. It is a happy problem to have, and it has led administrators to reflect upon the best practices in human resources management.       

Studies have revealed that the responsibility for adaptation and integration problems rests with employers in 85% of the cases. Either employees didn’t have access to the right tools or didn’t work in a favourable environment or employers didn’t give employees the right tasks. No matter the case, an employee would be critically evaluated, says the founder of Imagem, who attaches particular importance to his employees’ well-being.

Gagnon adds that an employer should never underestimate the importance of integrating newcomer employees into a team and of offering them opportunities for development. Furthermore, Gagnon says that, among other details, he gives attentive consideration to degrees because diplomas are, according to him, a guarantee of success. The degree an employee holds shows that he or she has the ability to synthesize and analyse information, to work and think, and to do much more. These are qualities Gagnon looks for in an employee.

But beyond the diploma, an employee also needs personal qualities. A candidate must be motivated, useful, accountable and rational. My responsibility as an employer is to encourage employees to unleash their talents and help them find in what areas they excel. Gagnon knows that his employees won’t do everything right the first time around, and that is perfectly normal.

Jacques Gagnon believes that many employers ask too much of their new employees; employers expect to see fresh out of school recruits to be perfectly trained for the workforce. It’s absurd, Gagnon says. Students never have the opportunity to work on software while 100 other people are working on it at the same time or to use highly complex computer systems, such as those used at Imagem. Employees need time to get a grip on these systems and to understand the culture of clients in the healthcare industry.

Imagem’s approach to human resources management instils, in all employees, a sense of belonging to the firm. When employees have confidence in themselves and in the firm they work for, they are more likely to work their way up the company ranks and discover their hidden talents.

Gagnon, CEO of Imagem, knows that his employees won’t do everything right the first time around, and that is perfectly normal. “My responsibility as an employer is to encourage employees to unleash their talents and help them find in what areas they excel.”

Is artificial intelligence trustworthy?

Is artificial intelligence trustworthy?

These days, we hear more and more about AI or artificial intelligence. In all or almost all areas of activity, AI seems to be the magic bullet to meet today’s challenges and to face those that lie ahead. How do we solve labour shortages? AI. How do we better target an audience? AI. How do we reduce the administrative burden? AI. However, according to Jacques Gagnon, the CEO of Imagem, a high-tech firm specialized in the development of health technologies, there is still a fly in the ointment: we overestimate the power of AI.       

To start off, Gagnon, who is an engineer by training, says that any AI system needs to rely on valid and useful data worth exploiting. The exercise itself requires a great deal of rigour to ensure that the collected information is relevant and verifiable and that all parameters that are likely to influence the data to be generated are taken into account.   

Beyond AI, there are people who still today have the responsibility of asking the right questions and of collecting clear, quantifiable and verifiable answers to those questions before processing the information using various algorithms that have been developed for the purpose: this is what we call “deep learning” or DL. In the field of science, just as in the health sector, rigour is law.       

Gagnon adds that a simple device that is improperly calibrated can skew data completely just as an erroneous interpretation given by personnel can invalidate the information that was collected. When we talk about artificial intelligence on social media, it is of no real consequence if Facebook erred when it showed you a pair of pants you should have liked. However, when it comes to health information, to err is not an option. That is why, in order to conduct a rigorous analysis, we must first go out on the field and ensure that the data that is collected is reliable and that the source of the data can be determined.      

According to Gagnon, AI must have roots in reality if we are to give it some kind of merit. In that respect, some aspects of work will always require human intelligence and methods will always need improvements, but, needless to say, AI represents a major leap when it comes to using processes that were completed, up until now, in a subjective way.

At Imagem, we are constantly focusing on eliminating errors from the processes completed in our firm – to the extent of what is possible, and from those put in place in our clients’ establishments. To do so, we follow strict control measures, among other actions. Imagem is subject to the particularly strict MDSAP (Medical Device Single Audit Program) and ISO 13485 standards. All of our applications seamlessly generate comprehensive log files, and the millions of actions that have been recorded allow us to know what there is to know about the operation of our software and to recover what needs to be recovered when needed. This scientific rigour is what carries our guarantee of quality. Gagnon reminds us that we should keep in mind that AI roughly corresponds to data processing and that human intervention is required to validate the accuracy and the veracity of the data.