Merge displays series products, works in progress focused on reducing costs
Dec. 7 – Merge Healthcare highlighted an array of solutions designed to deliver a positive return on investment and help imaging centers cope with emerging economic and budgetary issues at the 93rd scientific assembly and annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago last week. 

The company showed Fusion RIS/PACS, Fusion PACS MX 3.0, Fusion RIS 3.30 and eFilm Workstation version 3.0. The company also demonstrated specialty clinical applications including Merge Mammo, Merge PET/CT and Merge Ortho.

Fusion RIS/PACS MX facilitates radiologist workflow through integration of the RIS and PACS applications to create a single, seamless application. From one work spot, clinicians are able to access all PACS images and all RIS-based information — such as relevant priors, patient history, referring physician contact information and scanned documents — to complete case interpretation. Additional tools to optimize workflow include embedded digital dictation and multiple interrupt sessions. Fusion RIS/PACS MX also incorporates a Practice Analysis module that tracks and facilitates analysis of an imaging center's or network's day-to-day imaging statistics to help organizations improve their bottom line.

Fusion PACS MX 3.0 is a work-in-progress version of Fusion PACS MX that uses an advanced platform technology to automatically launch the clinical application required to view each study. The capability boosts efficiency by allowing specialty reads, such as mammography, to proceed seamlessly within the clinical workflow. The company said that for some businesses, the solution will enable efficient, cost-effective expansion into new clinical disciplines. Fusion PACS MX also provides: new viewing protocols that allow users to step through different views; the ability to save annotations or measurements to images; and extended keyboard mapping opportunities.

Fusion RIS MX 3.30, a work in progress, offers improved fax service, external order ID tracking workflow and a national provider number. In addition, Fusion RIS MX integrates enterprise-wide licensing and scalable design for customers of all types and sizes, flexible scheduling to maximize workflow and room utilization, and embedded modules, such as document management and digital dictation.

Merge also showed a work in progress of a completely embedded billing module, designed to enable fast and accurate reimbursement within the RIS workflow.

Merge Mammo is a multi-modality, vendor-neutral mammography workstation application. Merge Mammo 7.1, a work in progress, includes support for 10-bit monitor display and 12-bit printing. The application supports 64-bit and Vista OS and includes options for customizing viewing and measurement tools and improved viewing protocols.

Merge PET/CT addresses the clinical challenges of fusion imaging by accommodating standard CT reading methods. Following a PACS image display convention, the PET/CT Workstation provides image layouts that are split across dual monitors in panoramic mode. This review method permits simultaneous comparison of CT images, PET corrected, PET uncorrected, PET/CT fused images and MIP. Rigid registration between images allows simultaneous navigation through all data sets.

Merge Ortho is a digital workstation solution that helps orthopedic specialists save time and improve clinical effectiveness in orthopedic planning and diagnosis, the company said. Merge Ortho provides advanced digital tools to streamline workflow in addition to measurement options, implant selection, automated template placement and manipulation, surgical planning tools, image archiving and web distribution.

Merge said that it is not legally obligated to develop described work-in-progress software with the features and functionality described.