Dr. Germán Arango: Leading the Digital Transformation of the Medical Imaging Industry

Germán Arango
Dr. Germán Arango, CEO, and co-founder, IMEXHS

The modern technological advancements in the healthcare industry have allowed medical professionals to streamline their work process, which wasn’t the case a decade ago. When Dr. Germán needed to send images of a few reports from the Amazon jungle to the capital city of Colombia, Bogota, several problems arose. The internet upload bandwidth available was very limited, and none of the existing software solutions provided by the legacy providers in the marketplace were functional in this environment. To overcome these problems, Dr. Germán, one radiologist, and two engineers co-founded IMEXHS, a software platform to resolve such a problem in 2012.

Dr. Germán is the CEO and Co-founder of IMEXHS and is responsible for strategic planning. He leads and manages with the support of the other directors of the company. From the operational standpoint, Dr. Germán is the final decision-maker of all fronts: commercial, technological, administrative, and financial.

Within strategic planning, the most critical part is the definition of the product roadmap. One of Dr. Germán’s main activities is product managing, which defines the approaches he leads, develops, and will be valuable for the company’s customers.

The Path Filled with Challenges

Initially, Dr. Germán and the team created a teleradiology platform, which was the origin of IMEXHS. They started with continuous growth in product offering, commercial activity, and technology development, now having more than 300 sites installed across 15 countries.

Fundamentally, the first challenge that Dr. Germán faced was his background in medicine, radiology, and neuroradiology, which did not represent a solid experience to create a company. It was challenging to create a company with a background in medicine because most doctors have a different approach than business, which requires much learning and creating.

The second big challenge was listing the company on the Australian stock exchange, making it a public company. “It has required a lot of learning, resilience, and effort to incorporate the knowledge of this new world, which is the stock market world,” says Dr. Germán.

Dr. German now finds it challenging to manage a multinational company with operations in different countries and corporate governance in Australia and a large part of its operations in Latin America, which implies synchronizing different cultures and languages. IMEXHS has achieved a very efficient corporate order that has managed to operate in a fine-tuned manner, despite the restrictions of the pandemic.

Staying on the Top

IMEXHS has always been disruptive in technology and business models. Besides having a 100% cloud-based platform, it offers high technology tools such as advanced post-processing and artificial intelligence. Beyond that, it has been a pioneer in SaaS models in the Latin American region. A year ago, it launched a completely standardized subscription cloud-based model.

A year ago, IMEXHS launched a completely disruptive subscription-based model called AQUILA in the Cloud. Its objective is to democratize access to high-tech medical imaging across all the market segments, targeting the low and medium complexity segments that are underserved or have low-quality software offerings.

Via AQUILA in the Cloud, the company is offering a subscription model that no one else is doing, taking advantage of its cloud technology and multi-tenant architecture. Since its launch in June 2020, it has completed 84 installations across 15 countries in Latin America, including 6 installations in the United States and 4 in Australia.

The Post-Pandemic Effect

Talking about the changes in information technology and healthcare services post-pandemic, Dr. Germán expresses that the first major change which was made evident during the pandemic and will be more evident post-pandemic will be the migration of service to remote delivery. Demanding greater stability, security, performance, and functionality of the technology platforms to support these activities.

The first effect, which he believes is a short-term effect that will be established, is that telemedicine tactics will increase the proportion to face-to-face activities. The second element that he thinks is going to be enhanced is the incorporation of artificial intelligence. He mentions that telemedicine is a solution that probably meets the need in the short term. However, the ultimate solution is that information doesn’t even have to travel from one place to another and require as much human intervention.

The incorporation of artificial intelligence can simplify the deficit of providers in certain areas, partially replace telemedicine, and make medical practice more efficient and more precise, which are also urgent needs.

Implementing Technological Developments

One of IMEXHS’s premises is to improve the quality of life of physicians and patients. From the patient’s perspective, which is its main priority, it must offer technological platforms that handle medical information securely and efficiently while increasing its availability for remote or local medical reports and incorporating more functionalities that allow more sophisticated analysis.

All this represents a higher quality of medical practice, greater precision in the results of medical practice, lower medicolegal risks, and fewer failures in the provision of care, which all adds up to improving patient’s health.

From the doctors’ point of view, the company provides them with tools that make their work much more efficient. It also ensures reducing medical-legal errors and risks, increasing diagnostic accuracy, and resulting in a higher quality of life, greater efficiency, less risk, and ultimately even higher income due to improved productivity.

The Steps Going Forward

Dr. Germán mentions that IMEXHS is focused on continuing with the disruption in the medical imaging technologies market, not only in the radiology space but in many other medical specialties involving imaging. The company will do this disruption from the technology and business model angles.

Its business model, a project that will fill a large gap within an underserved market, will take off significantly in the next few years. The product offering is preparing for more complex customers, with new technologies, incorporating many more elements of artificial intelligence.

The more artificial intelligence tools IMEXHS’s products have, the more attractive it will be to its customers. On this front, it is developing an Enterprise Imaging platform that it believes will break the current paradigm of service offerings and be just as successful as AQUILA in the Cloud.

Additionally, in the medical practice, Dr. Germán understands that to the extent that it is permeated with technology and, particularly with artificial intelligence tools, the practice will be more efficient and productive every day.

Furthermore, Dr. Germán believes that the boundary between technology and human practice will be reduced in the medium term. One of the company’s visions is that it has to be present on both fronts because eventually, it will become one, and it is preparing for that moment.