RSNA: Merge brings teleradiology to remote areas

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Powered by Merge Healthcare's technology, Remi–d by the World Health Imaging, Telemedicine and Informatics Alliance can offer a new model in gaining access to basic x-ray imaging for developing countries.

The portable x-ray booth--which was on display and available for demonstrations at the Radiological Society of North America annual conference in Chicago last week--offers a new imaging concept, especially for developing nations, said Julie Petarek, chief marketing officer of Merge.

The company said that Remi-d is a digital, self-contained and remotely supervised x-ray imaging system, with a focus on chest x-ray.

Patients may begin by checking in on a touch screen outside of the x-ray booth by entering their names and information. If the patients have an existing account, meaning they have used the booth before, they will be granted access inside the booth by swiping their Remi-d card. In the case of a first-time user, the patient can create a new account to receive a card all by using the touch screen interface on the side of the booth. Once inside the booth, the door closes and the patient swipes his or card again to begin the procedure. A “culturally-sensitive” avatar then appears on the screen, telling the patient the appropriate position to stand in for the x-ray. The booths are controlled remotely by a trained technologist who can be located elsewhere and the images are then sent to a radiologist via teleradiology.

Another patient-centered management solution on display was the FusionWeb Patient Access Portal. According to Petarek, the portal simplifies the care process and eliminates the process of “filing out the dreaded clipboard,” as the patient has the option of checking in on a kiosk rather than with a receptionist.

Additionally, Petarek said the portal, which is integrated with Fusion RIS, is being tested at several sites in the U.S. and has been received well.