News from HIMSS

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Microsoft Corp. launched its BizTalk Accelerator for HL7, software designed to support HL7 messaging and enables sharing of patient information within and between healthcare systems and organizations.

With BizTalk Accelerator for HL7, Microsoft said that healthcare organizations can take advantage of the open HL7 standard to enable disparate line-of-business applications to exchange sets of clinical and administrative data in real-time.

The company also previewed updates - due for release in June -- that will make Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003, an information-gathering and management program, more secure and reliable. The upgrades include increased support for digital signatures; enhanced document recovery, data submission and filtering controls; additional handwriting support for PC tablets' and improved ability to handle InfoPath attachments in email.


Eclipsys Corp. showcased the latest version of its Sunrise XA Clinical Manager and previewed some additional features coming with the release of version 3.5 in June and version 4.0 in late 2004 or early 2005.

Sunrise XA allows healthcare providers immediate access to patient data from the time a patient enters the facility's emergency room through the final billing process when he or she is dismissed. The technology's workflow features include access for nurses to lab results, orders and patients specifics in real-time and an analytical component that helps a physician determine the best course of treatment relative to cost.

Upcoming enhancements to Sunrise XA include workflow features for emergency department use and a pharmacy component.

At HIMSS 2004, Eclipsys also unveiled an alliance with Wolters Kluwer Health, of Chicago. The multinational information services firm's SkolarMD and Clineguide order sets will enable Sunrise XA users to access a library of decision support materials from textbooks, drug references and healthcare databases. The company says the order sets cover 90 percent of inpatient and ambulatory conditions in medicine and pediatrics.


Extreme Networks Inc. offered its high-performance switching systems at HIMSS 2004, designed to deliver a network infrastructure required for PACS, support of IP convergence for the delivery of voice, video and data, and its Unified Access (UA) architecture for the seamless integration of wired and wireless LAN for automated patient records and bedside care.

At the conference, the company launched its new Altitude 300 wireless port, a Wi-Fi-certified dual-radio Access Point (AP) capable of concurrently supporting 802.11b/g and 802.11a connectivity with Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security. The Altitude 300 works with Extreme Networks' Summit 300-48 switch, a next-generation 48 port device supporting wired and wireless networking with standards-based Power over Ethernet (PoE) and advanced management and authentication capabilities.

By the end of the year, Extreme Networks says the Altitude 300 will be compatible with all Summit models.


InSiteOne introduced a new SAN product designed to address storage requirements of large healthcare facilities, including both digital image data and enterprise-wide information storage. The new SAN option enhances the company's InDex Nearline product, which enables onsite storage for recent studies, as well as additional hospital and medical data.

The new SAN will be implemented with Hewlett-Packard Co.'s IT infrastructure.


Provox Technologies Corp. launched its VoxNotes, a speech recognition-based medical documentation and workflow management system at HIMSS 2004. Provox describes VoxNotes as a patient encounter-driven documentation technology, which joins VoxReports - designed for radiology speech recognition applications -- in the company's product portfolio.

The difference between the two products is that radiologist workflow primarily is order-driven, while VoxNotes, among its capabilities, presents a daily schedule for a physician and acts as a patient documentation checklist. Once a patient is selected, the dictate mode is activated, allowing the physician to create notes using speech recognition technology. The technology also can track system performance of the physician and the editors.

"When a physician is done," adds Stephen Rothschild, Provox's vice president of marketing, "he or she can edit it themselves or sign off, if it is complete."

VoxNotes installations were set to begin in March.


Emageon officially released its Intelligent Visual Medical Record (IVMR) at HIMSS 2004. The scalable technology provides multi-specialty images, related information and advanced visualization toolsets, all of which can be selected through a single user interface.

IVMR consists of products and services designed to manage, distribute and visualize medical content across the enterprise using specialized workflow. Clinical content generated from multiple specialties includes radiology, cardiology, pathology, neurology and orthopedics.

Most recently, Emageon announced an agreement with Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, N.Y., to manage medical image visualization and workflow integration throughout its 267-bed healthcare system.


Dictaphone touted its speech recognition technology and its line that includes PowerScribe for Radiology and PowerScribe Workstation for General Medicine.

PowerScribe for Radiology is designed to provide real-time recognition and self-editing capabilities, as well as standard templates and normal text driven by voice navigation and editing. The company estimates that the technology is installed in some 400 sites.

Radiology Workstation for General Medicine is designed for real-time recognition and self-editing to individual hospital departments and clinician and physician groups.

Dictaphone also previewed its Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology, which, as of HIMSS 2004, was is in three beta sites. The company plans an April release for the technology that utilizes what Dictaphone describes as a "sophisticated software engine" designed to read text from dictated narrative reports, then identify, extract and structure selected pieces of information into discrete data elements.

Initially, Dictaphone is using NLP to extract four data components - diagnoses, medications, procedures and allergies -- from narrative reports. That information, as well as patient demographics, is made available through the use of NLP Viewer software on the Dictaphone Enterprise Workstation.


Bluesocket demonstrated its open-systems wireless local area network (WLAN) management and security technology for review at HIMSS 2004. The company's WG-5000 Wireless Gateway is a core network system for HIPAA-compliant security and management of Wi-Fi networks that can support 1,000 simultaneous users and hundreds of access points.


Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp. highlighted its computer notebook line, which includes the company's LifeBook B Series in its slim, three-pound design. The latest generation features the Ultra Low Voltage Intel Pentium M Processor operating at 1.0 GHz and can be equipped with high-speed wireless LAN and a 60 GB hard drive. Fujitsu says the LifeBook B Series notebook has become popular with home healthcare providers, such as visiting nurses.

Also on display were Fujitsu's LifeBook T3000 tablet PC. The LifeBook T3000 tablet PC transforms from a traditional notebook into a mobile tablet PC. The LifeBook T3000 features Intel Centrino mobile technology, powered by an Intel Pentium M processor operating at 1.4 GHz. It has all the ports users need to connect desktop peripherals.


Amicas Inc. showcased its LightBeam Web-based on-demand diagnostic workstation for primary interpretation by radiologists and clinicians. New features to the LightBeam, which integrates Voxar 3D software, include voice clips to enhance cross-department workflow. The graphical user interface also has been enhanced to include navigation bar multi-series thumbnails.

Amicas also promoted its RealTime Worklist, which offers personalized enterprise-wide workflow for radiologists and clinicians, powered by instant messaging technology for real-time study status.

Amicas' Vision Watch is a Web-based application that provides monitoring, quality of service and business decision support. It provides managers, administrators, and support personnel with the ability to maintain high service levels by using software to proactively manage digital imaging operations at the PACS application level.


Two products from Cedara Software Corp. -- Cedara I-SoftView and Cedara I-AcquireVideo - made their marks in the IHE Connectathon ay HIMSS 2004.

The IHE Connectathon is the industry standard by which integration between healthcare products are measured. HIMSS 2004 marks the fifth year in a row that Cedara has passed all required tests to meet IHE standards and connectivity requirements.

The goal of IHE -Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise -- is to improve the way computer systems used in healthcare share and manage patient information.

Cedara I-SoftView is a radiology workstation designed for a range of application from orthopedic planning to CT and MR 3D rendering. Cedara I-AcquireVideo extends the life of scanners, such as CT, MR, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, angiography and endoscopic instruments. It also can upgrade older equipment to a modern Microsoft Windows user interface using standard computers.


Sentillion Inc. launched Vergence Omni Edition, an integrated identity and access management product specifically for healthcare. Vergence Omni Edition enables healthcare organizations to automatically create and manage user accounts, sign on with a single password to any application, employ authentication devise as an alternate to passwords, and extend information security across the enterprise to include outpatient clinics and remote workers.

One Vergence Omni Edition component is Vergence Provisioning Manager, which enables automated account creation and management in order to eliminate manual provisioning processes.


Planar Systems Inc. promoted its lower-cost Dome displays, noting that the company has reduced the list price on the systems by nearly 50 percent. The company said that manufacturing-cost savings "created by the scope and scale of its global supply-chain network have enabled price reductions without compromise in product quality or functionality."

Planar's Dome displays are available in two-, three- and five-megapixel resolution, grayscale and full color, diagnostic and referral-grade. The line includes the Dome C2, C3 and C5i, as well as the Dome Qx displays.