Industry round-up: GE, Acuo, AccuSoft, OrthoView

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GE Healthcare said yesterday it has expanded its alliance with Intermountain Healthcare to include the development of standardized terminology, clinical knowledge management technology and clinical process content as part of their multi-year project for the development of an ‘enterprise clinical information system’ built on GE’s Centricity Enterprise system. As part of the new agreement, GE and Intermountain will work together to enhance the Centricity Enterprise by developing and incorporating standardized vocabulary and clinical element models that will help enable the use of clinical data, such as protocols for optimal use of antibiotics, providing clinicians with critical decision support tools at the point of care.

Acuo Technologies named healthcare IT industry veteran Jeff Timbrook as chief executive officer. Timbrook has been actively involved in DICOM/PACS image management since 1995. 

Previously Timbrook served as the company’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. He succeeds Gary Haycox, who has left Acuo to pursue new business ventures. Before joining Acuo, he was vice president and co-founder of Emageon, where he led the sales efforts from the inception of the company. Prior to Emageon, Timbrook held sales and marketing positions at StorCOMM, Medicus Systems, and Lanier Healthcare.

AccuSoft Corporation announced that it is shipping new releases of three of its ImageGear imaging toolkits for software developers. ImageGear Professional version 15, ImageGear Enterprise version 15, and ImageGear MD version 15 offer many new features, including JPIP compression streaming protocol support, the ability to read and write vector data, enhancements to PDF file editing, medical waveform support and others. In addition, these toolkits support the upcoming Microsoft Windows Vista operating system. As a result, developers can create their imaging applications with the security of knowing they will not need to be modified for the future Vista release. All three ImageGear toolkits are available immediately. New features in the toolkits include:
  • Support for the JPIP protocol, a compression streaming protocol that works with JPEG 2000 to produce an image using the least bandwidth required. This protocol is very useful in applications such as medical imaging where only a portion of an entire image is requested to be transferred.
  • The ability to read and display DICOM waveforms for ECG and HD modalities and also have access to the image’s data set. (ImageGear MD toolkit only)
  • Additional functionality around Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an XML markup language for describing two-dimensional vector graphics. Version 15 products now support rendering solid 3D vector data with adjustable lighting as well as wireframe 3D vector data with no lighting. In addition, developers can create applications that both read and write to SVG.
  • The ability to convert scanned pages into PDF-searchable text by applying optical character recognition (OCR) to the text images and converting them into normal text.
  • Additional flexible annotation marks, including text, line, freehand polyline, rectangle, ellipse, polygon, polyline, audio, image, ruler, protractor, encryption, button, hot spot and rich text. Version 15 of all three toolkits also include the ability to import and export these marks to XML files.
  • Additional PDF annotations, such as free text, polygon, polyline, square, circle, line and links to another page in the document. 
  • The capability to turn on/off CMYK channels as well as Pantone spot colors in a PDF document.
  • Enhanced support for the standard CAD drawing file format, DWG, and its ASCII variant, DXF. Also, support for the R16 version of AutoCAD’s DWG and DXF drawing format & the ability to write as well as read these file types. Developers can create cost-effective applications that allow users to annotate and collaborate with CAD drawings without the need to purchase a CAD software package.
  • Automated notification when users approach their concurrent usage limits. This feature is flexible such that it can be set at any percentage of maximum usage. (ImageGear Enterprise toolkit only)
  • Support for reading additional file formats, including HPGL, DGN, and writing to CGM.
  • Support for loading raw file formats for over 90 different digital cameras. New cameras supported in release 15 include the following:
    • Canon EOS 30D
    • Canon EOS 20Da
    • Kodak P850
    • Kodak P880
    • Nikon 200D
    • Sony DSC-R1

UK-based OrthoView is in negotiations with a number of third parties to support several specialized clinical applications for its orthopaedic planning system, including 3D visualization and trauma fracture reduction, 3D digital templating, computer assisted surgery, Work List Support and future Robotic Bone Sculpting applications.  The initiative stems from the company’s research into orthopaedic workflow, where its products are implemented independently from the PACS Vendors’ systems. John Chambers, OrthoView’s CEO said that “when our product is deployed independently of PACS, we often need to provide these tools ourselves. This initiative will allow us to deploy a complete solution for an orthopaedic surgeon both in the private practice and hospital environment.”