Merge Healthcare will unveil Merge iConnect

Despite advances in health information technology, why are patients still arriving at doctors offices with CDs containing diagnostic images (and in some cases, large film envelopes!)

One would assume a doctor could readily access x-ray, CT or other diagnostic images.  Just open the electronic health record, click a button and there’s the image.  Unfortunately, this is not the case – and your readers may want to know why.

Timely, cost-effective storage and sharing of diagnostic images is one of today’s major HIT challenges.

Consider this:

Ø       More than 700M imaging studies are done annually in US.

Ø       An average hospital system stores more than 4M patient images (100 terabytes of data.)

Ø       Even if an image has recently been secured, when patients travel between facilities, clinicians often re-order tests – -creating unnecessary expense and radiation exposure.

New technology is evolving to overcome this challenge – and early adopters such as UMass Memorial Medical Center, are leading the way.  Thanks to Merge Healthcare’s iConnect solution, nearly 700 of their physicians are now viewing images in their newly “image-enabled” Allscripts EHR.

At HIMSS 2011, Merge Healthcare (Booth #3348, Hall E) will unveil Merge iConnect, an image exchange software suite that facilitates the cost-effective sharing of diagnostic content, and provides real-time image access via any Web-enabled device.

Using an IHE compliant architecture, Merge iConnect is available in a series of vendor-agnostic modules that include:

– a zero-footprint image sharing platform — eliminates VPNs, pre-configured DICOM connections, CD transport, etc.
– a zero-download DICOM and XDS viewer for anytime/anywhere mobile access — physicians are no longer tethered to desktop computers to view diagnostic quality images
– a vendor neutral archive to consolidate diagnostic imaging data for all “‘ologies,” departments, and locations — medical images and reports are secure and easily accessible in a non-proprietary format
– a comprehensive interoperability platform that enables sharing and viewing of content across a set of heterogeneous patient IDs, source systems and data types — leverages works-in-progress from Merge including Enterprise Master Patient Index (EMPI)* and Master Data Management (MDM)* solutions
– self check-in kiosk technology with unique avatar-based, live-assist functionality — automates data capture earlier in the workflow process, eliminates paper, optimizes staff efficiency

Merge is unique in that the company offers a modular approach, enabling organizations to leverage existing technology investments and build interoperability at their own pace.  While many excellent niche solutions exist in the market to address image exchange and management, Merge is the only vendor offering a comprehensive solution suite with proven technologies and the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of modularity.

As a founding member of the long-standing DICOM standard and today’s largest vendor of DICOM toolkits, Merge has a rich, 20-year history of advancements in interoperability.  Today, while focusing deeply on image exchange, the company will also showcase some of our newest solutions across the healthcare landscape at HIMSS, including:

·         Radiology (RIS/PACS , revenue financial management, CAD for MRI)

·         Cardiology (digital integrated cardiovascular record, cath lab workflow and knowledge management)

·         Surgery (perioperative clinical information management, anesthesia information management)

·         Lab (clinical laboratory information system software and connectivity)

·         Clinical Trials (EDC, IVR/IWR, eDiaries)

Merge’s solutions for OEMS, VARs and distributors will also be presented.

Merge will participate in the 2011 HIMSS Interoperability Showcase (in conjunction with IHE), and is again one of the only radiology-centric vendors involved.