Austrian company prepares to enter U.S. PACS market

March 14, 2001

The U.S. PACS market is about to take on a Viennese twist from Tiani Medgraph, an Austrian PACS and workstation company. Although Tiani has exhibited at the RSNA meeting for several years, it is little known outside its core customer base in Austria and

The U.S. PACS market is about to take on a Viennese twist from Tiani Medgraph, an Austrian PACS and workstation company. Although Tiani has exhibited at the RSNA meeting for several years, it is little known outside its core customer base in Austria and Germany.

Tiani executives hope that changes after the first of its PACS installations in Los Angeles and Washington, DC, slated for later this year. Although the company may not have high name recognition, it nonetheless has a solid history in PACS and is the leading provider in Austria. At the University Clinic of Innsbruck, Tiani installed one of the world’s largest image management systems.

“In Europe, the PACS market is very full,” said Andreas Koening, Tiani marketing director. “The market is more open in the U.S. What makes us competitive is that we are faster than the big players in setting up systems and keeping things running and solving problems.”

In addition to PACS, Tiani has developed with Real Time Visualization (now part of TeraRecon) the VolumePro NET software that allows networked desktops to serve as interactive 2-D and 3-D workstations and the 4-D CardioView real-time 3-D ultrasound processing and analysis tool sold by TomTec of Munich.

At the European Congress of Radiology meeting, Tiani also showcased its joint project with Philips and Telemed Communications Services (a subsidiary of Philips Medical Systems Austria): the new ImageCARD, a credit-card-sized key to electronic patient results and x-ray archive. Tiani acted as the application service provider for image distribution. The ECR was the worldwide introduction of ImageCARD, which will be part of the Tiani booth on the 2001 RSNA exhibit floor.

In the first phase of ImageCARD deployment, only digitally compiled studies such as MRI will be electronically archived. The cards will hold not the studies themselves but references that can be used to access the studies. Patients carry the card, and when medical care is needed, the healthcare provider accesses the patient’s information over the Internet through a secured electronic database. Patients themselves may also be able to access the information, Koenig said. Several hundred patients are already using the card, and the number should climb into the thousands in 2001. Data security is a high priority of the ImageCARD.

“The data are saved in several fail-safe, external electronic data processing centers that have multiple protections against hackers,” he said. “Only if the patient enters his or her PIN code and gives the doctor authorization can healthcare professionals view the data.”