Emageon focuses on workflow, speed with HeartSuite

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During the 2008 HIMSS conference in Orlando, Fla., Emageon highlighted new features to HeartSuite, a suite of cardiovascular tools offering cardiovascular information management, hemodynamic monitoring, advanced visualization and content management.

Brian Booth, senior vice president, Emageon, told Health Imaging News that organizing and making sense of how to manage and store data are currently driving the technology investment decisions of its customers.

Booth said that the most common theme during the show was the idea of “bringing it all together.”  “A lot of CIOs and even clinicians are focused on workflow and how to bring all of this information together to make better point-of-care decisions.”

CIOs are pushing to try to get information and imagers all right now into a centralized database, he added. “Right now it is easy to put data on a singular hardware platform – it is another thing to put it in a database and consolidate it and make sense of the information,” he said.

When asked how the company played a role in driving EMR adoption, Booth said that since the image is central to patient decision making, by integrating their product into an EMR, they are driving adoption and helping to enforce compliance by having more and more physicians have to go through the EMR to get to the imaging component or in turn go directly to the imaging application and begin to use it.

“We feel if you look across all PACS vendors, such as radiology and cardiology, we have pushed movement toward an EMR considerably since imaging was one of the first significant IT investments hospitals began to make and one of the first applications physicians want to integrate in an EMR is imaging,” he added.

In light of the recently proposed Medicare cuts, Booth said that there will continue to be a focus on integrating and making technology investments that have been made to date work.  “Funds are going to be available because companies have budgeted for replacement cycles and now that [PACS] contracts are up, companies are looking beyond PACS to content management, enterprise content visualization,” he said. “There is going to be a tremendous wave of technology replacement opportunity in late 2008, early 2009, and companies have been budgeting and planning for this.”

Booth said the Birmingham, Ala.-based Emageon is poised for this technology replacement wave with one suite of integrated, enterprise cardiology tools in HeartSuite.

Emageon’s architecture combines HeartSuite with radiology and other medical specialties to give a comprehensive patient–centric view of the visual medical record, Booth said.

He said the benefits of HeartSuite can be summed up in two words: workflow and speed. “We are helping cardiology and caregivers make more informed and accurate decisions in a quicker fashion with the same, if not better, quality. There are a number of things that can slow caregivers down but we want to make sure we help them stay productive without compromising image quality.”  

Booth said the HeartSuite includes: VERICIS cardiovascular information system; multi-modality advanced visualization; enterprise content management and workflow; tools for pediatric cases; 3D CT/MR visualization; multi-modality clinical reporting; 4D ultrasound visualization and analysis; and hemodynamic monitoring system for adult and pediatric cases.

“Since our inception we have had a focus on the enterprise clinical image management domain and we are watching pathology since we think that is beginning to mature and develop,” he said. “With oncology, orthopedics and endoscopy, there is still room to grow within the clinical imaging world but we also have our eyes on what is happening outside of clinical imaging, such as bringing pharma, lab and other information together into a single visualization platform.”