“As the product grows, I grow and CSAM grows”
Emma Angebrand manages medical imaging solutions that have been successful for many years, and is now working across CSAM product divisions to make them even more transformative
In 2016, the eHealth division of Finnish technology company Mawell Oy was bought by another Scandinavian firm, based in Oslo. This was one of CSAM’s first acquisitions as part of a strategy to expand its eHealth ecosystem, and “cross-fertilize” a growing portfolio of successful solutions.
At the time of the takeover, former nurse Emma Angebrand oversaw the delivery of upgrades to Mawell’s medical imaging solution Picsara. She still works with Picsara and its mobile counterpart, CSAM CIMA, but as Product Owner. This puts her at the heart not just of the development of CSAM’s Medical Imaging solutions, but also of the company’s ambition to drive synergies between its different business areas.
Angebrand is excited about that future. “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” she says. “I’m so happy to be part of a team – and we really are a team although we are not all based in Gothenburg. Also, we are now working with other divisions within CSAM to create synergies between our different products – so the ‘big picture’ idea of the takeover is making a lot a sense.”
“Making sense of things” is an important part of what drives Angebrand. She started her professional life as a nurse – that was the day job. She also played the saxophone in a Scandi funk band called Soul Fetch which performed in clubs, for weddings and at parties throughout the 2010s.
“We were semi-professional,” says Angebrand, “but I didn’t do it for the money. Soul Fetch was fun. And a great contrast to my day job.”
As a nurse, Angebrand did “gigs” – her words – in the north of Norway because she adored the scenery and worked in a post-surgical department at a hospital in Linköping.
The contact with patients was rewarding but the long hours and chaotic work schedule took their toll. Also, Angebrand became increasingly aware of “pain points” in the clinical workflow, and of how, by making a few simple changes, the wards might be run much more efficiently, and perhaps even improve patient outcomes.
One such pain point was drug administration. “As a nurse you spend a lot of time finding the correct drugs for a patient, counting them carefully if they are restricted, and then without warning, you’ve run out, you ring the dispensary, they’re not sure they have it – and all this while you are being constantly called away by patients and colleagues. It was messy. Unnecessarily messy.
“I used to fantasize about having a machine, like a vending machine that dispenses bottles of Diet Coke or bars of chocolate, but then for medicine. You press a code and out it comes.”
Fantasies were not enough for Angebrand. She began to take a dedicated interest in business studies and studied how Lean management techniques were being applied to healthcare management. Eventually, and while still working as a nurse, she did an MSc in Information Logistics, graduating in 2011.
This academic grounding, combined with her deep knowledge of how clinicians work and what they need, make Angebrand such a vital part not just of CSAM Medical Imaging, but also of the wider ecosystem CSAM is building across its business divisions.
A great example of this is an integration Angebrand is exploring with CSAM Public Safety.
“We have a client, a Swedish hospital, which uses one of CSAM’s imaging solutions [Media] and deploys Paratus in its ambulances. But the two tools aren’t linked. The client is interested in streaming video from the ambulances to the hospital, particularly to assess stroke patients. CSAM Public Safety and our division are pursuing ways to implement that with our client. It’s very exciting to build something new from all the capabilities we have.”
The largest project with which Angebrand is closely involved is the development of a brand-new platform for CSAM’s imaging solutions. The portfolio currently contains three products that are doing roughly the same: Media, Picsara, and Medimaker. All these products are used as complete solutions to capture images of moles, burn wounds, lesions, injuries and so on, as well as real-time videos of endoscopy and other examinations. In addition, Media also provides support as an administration and viewing tool for scanned documents.
“Our current solutions are serving hospitals and primary care providers in the Nordics and in England very well – and have done so for a long time, 10 to 15 years,” says Angebrand. “But they use different technologies and are becoming difficult to maintain. In the new platform, we will gather all these functions in one solution and our existing products will be consolidated.”
This is very much in line with what clients already regard as the big strength of CSAM: a portfolio of imaging systems that can be linked to give clinicians end-to-end workflows for capturing, interpreting, sharing, and archiving medical images. “A unique selling point for us,” says Angebrand, “which will take a leap forward as we integrate with other tools from different eHealth divisions across CSAM.”
For the client, what matters most is the here-and-now of how the products work and help them in their clinical practice. “We must take a long-term, technical view of course. But what matters to the clients is that the solutions work smoothly and transform outcomes for patients.”
In January, a Swedish primary carer implemented CSAM CIMA, the mobile app that allows practitioners to take photos or videos and securely transfer media for review, sharing and storage. “Before they implemented CIMA, the client printed out the picture, put it in an envelope and send it to the hospital specialist. Now, the images and videos are transferred in real-time for a diagnosis or second opinion.”
This impacts patients very directly.
“A lady was worried about a mole on her foot. She went into a clinic on a Friday where they photographed the mole, sent it to the specialist who saw at once the lady needed surgery. So the hospital booked her there and then for the procedure, without seeing her. So this is a great example of how CSAM CIMA shortens treatment lead times for patients.”
There is strong interest among Swedish primary carers for the CIMA solution, and it is being rolled out actively.
“What I miss about nursing is the contact with patients,” Angebrand concludes, “but when I hear a story like that, I feel that I am still helping people get better, but just in a different way. All this technical talk of integrations and platforms and workflows serves one purpose: to help patients. It’s good to remind ourselves of that.”