Industry round-up: Acuo, Agfa, Ascom, McKesson, TeraRecon, Vocada
Acuo Technologies, a developer of DICOM Services Grid and storage virtualization technology, and NU Design Medical Technologies, a developer of web-based technologies in the women’s healthcare market, announced that NU Design will incorporate DICOM Services Grid technology from Acuo Technologies into the company’s Mammography Manager. DICOM Service Grid technology will allow NU Design's Mammography Manager to automatically route, based on content, to a reading physician without manual intervention. The resulting system will enable content-aware DICOM routing, storage virtualization, JPEG, encryption and storage virtualization. The announcement was made last week at RSNA 2006 in Chicago.

TeraRecon announced the availability of API-level workflow integration between its AquariusNET Server and the Horizon Medical Imaging PACS system produced by McKesson Provider Technologies. In addition, the companies have executed a co-promotion agreement for the integration product that will see TeraRecon compensate McKesson for opportunities where TeraRecon sells its AquariusNET Server products simultaneously with McKesson completing a qualifying sale of the integration product. The API-level integration allows the TeraRecon AquariusNET thin-client application to be launched directly from within the Horizon Medical Imaging PACS graphical user interface and displayed on the third-color monitor of the review station.

McKesson announced a distribution agreement with Toshiba America Medical Systems and showcased its portfolio of solutions at RSNA last week.
The agreement between McKesson and Toshiba calls for Toshiba to offer McKesson’s Horizon Medical Imaging PACS solution with Toshiba’s diagnostic imaging devices, including the Aquilion line of CT scanners. The agreement is designed to offer imaging centers and hospitals under 200 beds a turnkey solution that’s affordable, easy to implement and easy to support. Horizon Medical Imaging is modality independent, helping hospitals to integrate images from multiple modalities with clinical patient data for more comprehensive electronic health records (EHRs). The system also is designed to streamline radiology department workflow and to promote improved radiologist efficiency. Toshiba’s CT business has installed more than 17,000 CT systems in hospitals, imaging centers and medical group practices worldwide. The company’s Aquilion system offers advanced features and capabilities that provide physicians with a powerful tool that is ideal for applications requiring precise clinical information.

Agfa Healthcare shared information about a potential wireless integration of IMPAX with Ascom and discussed a new alliance with Vocada at last week’s RSNA in Chicago.

Ascom, a provider of wireless notification systems, is testing IMPAX  RIS/PACS for a product integration that could potentially improve how radiologists and other healthcare professionals communicate. If testing proves successful, Ascom’s wireless communication solutions could help get information from Agfa HealthCare’s RIS/PACS solutions to radiologists and physicians when they need them. The testing of the two companies’ systems will be conducted in several hospital sites in the U.S. and Europe. The testing will determine the feasibility of Ascom’s wireless solutions combined with Agfa HealthCare’s IMPAX RIS/PACS solution and their ability to instantaneously notify radiologists, regardless of where they are located, of a situation that requires their immediate attention or clinicians of clinical result availability. Such communication could help make physicians more accessible and signal alerts if immediate action is required, thereby improving the delivery of patient care.

Agfa HealthCare and Vocada a provider of Critical Test Result Management (CTRM) solutions, have agreed to integrate their systems and offer radiologists an improved methodology for clinical result distribution and notification. Vocada’s Veriphy CTRM solution offers one-step convenience and automates compliance with all legal and professional standards concerning critical communications. It is a hosted system that requires no additional investment in hardware or software. CTRM is a technology-based strategy to improve patient safety and outcomes and boost staff productivity. It verifies the communication of critical test results from a reporting clinician to the responsible ordering clinician – in time to benefit the patient. “This integration will provide radiologists with a user-friendly interface for PACS, Reporting and for communicating critical patient findings,” said Thomas White, co-founder and executive vice president of Vocada. “The combination will enhance patient safety and boost staff productivity at the same time.”