A Medical Device Daily

Healthcare information technology leaderCerner (Kansas City, Missouri) and Mortara Instrument (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), a non-invasive cardiology healthcare technology company, said they will pursue a joint engineering effort utilizing DICOM to provide full diagnostic capabilities within an electronic medical record (EMR).

The companies said that the use of the DICOM ECG standard allows the EMR to receive and present raw ECG data seconds after it has been acquired. Combining the diagnostic ECG with the EMR now opens the door for more advances in ECG, as greater EMR data can be properly utilized, they said.

The agreement enables Cerner to provide the E-Scribe ECG feature and functionality within the Millennium platform as part of PowerChart ECG to improve ECG workflow in other Cerner solutions, including PowerChart EMR, iNet for the ICU,FirstNet for the emergency room and CVNet for cardiology.

“What once took hours now only takes seconds,” said J.P. Fingado, VP and general manager for Cerner. “Ultimately, patients will receive better care because now the ECG is included in the EMR, providing the physician with more complete information to make better clinical decisions.”

“This standard is a logical progression to continue the integration of the non-invasive cardiology products from Mortara into the information management systems of the office and hospital,” said Joe Austin, VP of Mortara. “PowerChart ECG will provide more information for the physician during ECG analysis including allergies, medications, labs and previous cardiology and non-cardiology tests for a more informed medical decision.”

The DICOM standard allows for movement, reporting and viewing of data from this ubiquitous diagnostic test regardless of which ECG manufacturer’s equipment was used to acquire the data. Traditionally, the electronic management of 12-lead ECGs has been realized within proprietary platforms provided by the manufacturer of the ECG acquisition device. These proprietary systems add additional IT infrastructure and hardware specifically to manipulate the workflow for acquisition and management of the 12-lead ECG.

DICOM has been in use within healthcare since the mid 1990’s for diagnostic imaging in radiology and cardiology, including computed tomography, MRI, echocardiography and nuclear medicine.

Mortara and Cerner will demonstrate this technology innovation at the Scientific Sessions 2006 of the American Heart Association in Chicago this week and at the RSNA Scientific Assembly in Chicago Nov. 26 – Dec. 1.

Mortara develops noninvasive cardiology for innovations that are core to the company’s line of ECG products, including electrocardiographs, stress exercise systems, Holter systems and data warehousing, and cardiology monitoring systems.

In other agreements:

• Mid-Atlantic Group Network (MAGNET; Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania) of Shared Services, a U.S. healthcare group purchasing organization, has signed a five-year contract with Eastman Kodak (Rochester, New York) making Kodak’s digital imaging products available to more than 12,000 MAGNET member facilities.

MAGNET’s participating healthcare facilities — hospitals, clinics and growing medical practices — can purchase Kodak computed radiography (CR) systems, Kodak digital radiography (DR) systems, Kodak laser imaging systems as well as X-ray films.

“Kodak has established itself as a trusted resource for the latest in digital medical imaging and information technologies,” said Derwood Dunbar Jr., president/CEO of MAGNET. “[O]ur participating healthcare facilities can now purchase innovative digital systems and services that can help enhance patient care and improve their day-to-day operations.”

Founded during the 1979 Middle Atlantic Health Congress, MAGNET develops contracts on behalf of its members in the niche market of capital equipment and now serves about 12,000 providers.

• Drager Medical AG & Co. KG (Irvine, California) reported that it has expanded its relationship with Masimo (Irvine, California) and will integrate Masimo Rainbow SET platform as its principal pulse oximetry technology.

The Rainbow SET platform offers SET Read-Through Motion and Low Perfusion pulse oximetry plus upgradeability to add other parameters in the future. Upgrades are available for carboxyhemoglobin (carbon monoxide) and methemoglobin and others are planned for the future. Drager said it will be incorporating Masimo Rainbow SET into major acute care products. For future product developments, Drager Medical will replace its Oxisure+ oximetry with Masimo technology.

The companies also noted that the agreement constitutes a release of each other from any potential patent infringement claims relating to pulse oximetry.

Wolfgang Reim, president/CEO of Drager, said, “Masimo SET is clearly the gold standard in motion tolerant pulse oximetry technology, and with its new Rainbow Technology Masimo extends the reach of its technology to new important parameters.”

Drager provides solutions for acute patient care, focusing on core competencies, over a century of experience in the market, and continuous R&D investment, it says.