A Medical Device Daily

Eastman Kodak (Rochester, New York) used the opening of this year's annual meeting of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS; Chicago), ongoing this week in Dallas, to unveil what it termed “an aggressive push“ into the healthcare IT market by introducing a portfolio of software and systems designed, it said, for improved clinical processes and enhanced patient care.

With this effort, the company has renamed its Health Imaging business the Kodak Health Group, reflecting, it said, a “transformation“ beyond radiology to a range of digital systems, technology and services to capture and manage medical images and related information.

The offerings unveiled include a portfolio of products dubbed Kodak Carestream Solutions, intended to make it easier for physicians and administrative personnel to collect and share patient information, captured by a variety of systems to create image-enabled electronic medical rec-ords.

Other announcements made by Kodak at this year's HIMSS gathering include:

  • An agreement with Cisco Systems (San Jose, California), making it, Kodak said, “the first medical device company to bundle Cisco Security Agents (CSA) with medical imaging and information systems. CSA technology can intercept and block malicious software, thereby improving the performance of medical imaging systems.“
  • A collaboration with IBM (Armonk, New York), in which the companies will develop a specialized radiology information system (RIS) for imaging centers and smaller healthcare facilities and functioning as the information management backbone for radiology.
  • A new suite of RIS/PACS (picture archiving and communications) digital imaging and information systems for hospitals, imaging centers, orthopedic practices and other healthcare facilities.

Kodak Health Group estimates the $60 billion healthcare IT market growing at 10%, compared to 6% for its traditional market. Kodak reports 2004 revenues from the Health Group at $2.68 billion.

Hospital products developer Hospira (Lake Forest, Illi-nois) and Bridge Medical (Solano Beach, California) also used the opening of HIMSS at the Dallas Convention Center to feature a new, jointly developed, wireless point-of-care medication system prototype that links intravenous (IV) devices at the patient bedside with barcode-enabled medication administration verification. The integrated solution is designed to improve patient safety and care, increase clinician workflow and facilitate hospital quality improvement.

The combined offering integrates Hospira MedNet with the Bridge MedPoint system. MedNet is a software solution that helps hospitals define medication dose limits and track IV drug delivery to help prevent errors. Bridge MedPoint, a safety software, incorporates bar-code scanning, clinical knowledge bases and warnings and alerts with wireless networking to help intercept potential errors at the bedside.

Wireless communications modules integrated into the Hospira infusion devices will provide two-way communication with Bridge MedPoint. This enables patient order information to be checked through Hospira MedNet, which determines whether the ordered dose of medication is within the hospital's best practice guidelines.

Hospira was created out of the core global hospital products business of Abbott Laboratories (Abbott Park, Illi-nois).

Bridge, a subsidiary of AmerisourceBergen (Valley Forge, Pennsylvania), is a provider of point-of-care patient safety solutions.

In other product announcements at HIMSS:

• Siemens Communications (Boca Raton, Florida) unveiled the HiPath Healthcare Solution HiMed product, featuring a bedside television monitor providing patients with entertainment, communications and browser-based access to educational information. For medical staff, the HiMed solution provides “smart card“ access to the clinical information system at the bedside.

The HiMed solution also integrates a point-of-entry computing device with a patient entertainment display terminal, without the need to deploy a dedicated multimedia PC workstation at each bed. When used by clinical staff, the system converts to a point-of-care access device to retrieve essential patient data. Access is controlled via personalized smart cards.

• Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (Chicago) is exhibiting TouchWorks iHealth, a new solution that provides consumers secure online access to their own personal health records and online consultations with their physicians. iHealth solution integrates Allscripts' TouchWorks electron-ic health record (EHR) with Medem, a physician/patient communications network.

iHealth provides a personal health record that is standards-based, automated patient education programs that support patients care plan compliance and medication regimens and the ability for patients to request medication refills and review lab results. The system is based on All-scripts' Medem platform of services, which provides HIPAA-compliant secure email.

• Artificial Medical Intelligence (AMI; Eatontown, New Jersey) introduced its EMscribe Dx system, an automatic coding solution that scans documents containing medical phrases and matches them to appropriate ICD9 diagnostic codes. AMI bills the system as “the only automated coding solution specifically designed for hospital coding requirements and cover[ing] all clinical disciplines and subspecialties including medicine, pediatrics and cardiology, radiology oncology.“

EMscribe Dx assists in increased coding accuracy, reduced coding expenditures and decreased costs of reimbursement processing.

EMscribe Dx's patent pending natural language technology matches routine medical terminology to appropriate codes, as well as colloquial terms or slang that physicians use to reduce over-coding and under-coding errors.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (New Brunswick, New Jersey) is currently piloting EMscribe Dx.

AMI also is a provider of IT consulting services.

• Patient Care Technology Systems (PCTS; Aliso Viejo, California), a provider of clinical information systems for high acuity departments, is featuring its newest release of Amelior EDTracker passive tracking, version 3.0. The ad-vanced release features new enhancements to support emergency departments seeking comprehensive patient and asset tracking functions with minimal data entry requirements.

PCTS terms Amelior EDTracker “the most widely implemented passive patient tracking system in U.S. emergency departments and . . . in use since 2000.“ Passive tracking uses badges worn by patients and staff to track the location and care status of patients and the location of medical equipment in real time with no data entry required.

The Howard Medical Technology unit of Howard Industries (Laurel, Mississippi) is featuring a compact, mobile computer cart it describes as “quiet, easy to navigate and [able to] be used while sitting or standing, thus making it ideal for any healthcare environment.“

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