Avreo buys Image Medical, strengthens ties with Intel

December 13, 2000

Avreo (formerly Riptide Technologies) announced at the RSNA meeting that it had acquired Image Medical, a software company specializing in Web-based radiology workflow. The merger builds on Avreo's vision to provide end-to-end services to

Avreo (formerly Riptide Technologies) announced at the RSNA meeting that it had acquired Image Medical, a software company specializing in Web-based radiology workflow. The merger builds on Avreo's vision to provide end-to-end services to radiology and complements Avreo's expanding relationship with Intel, which gives this small but growing company a leg up in the medical Internet marketplace.

The deal with Image Medical allows Avreo to integrate PracticeBuilder, Image Medical's Internet-based PACS, into ARIIS, Avreo's enterprise radiology information offering. ARIIS is a Web-based system that combines RIS, PACS, report generation, and charge-capture capabilities in an open-architecture XML design.

"ARIIS is next-generation Internet technology," said Richard Ferrans, founder and chief medical officer for Avreo. "The integration of PracticeBuilder gives us storage and distribution of images and enables Avreo to leverage the Internet for our clients."

Avreo will issue approximately 3.9 million shares of its common stock to acquire Image Medical. Sam Willcoxon, Image Medical's CEO, will become Avreo's chief operating officer.

Avreo has also been busy strengthening its relationship with Intel, which is focused on providing security for Web-based transactions. Avreo considers Intel's Internet Authentication Services the key in bringing referring physicians safely into the data loop.

"Some 70% of referring physicians have Internet access," Ferrans said. "A VHA study shows that they consider radiology results some of the most useful information that they can access via the Web."

Intel IAS is managing the American Medical Association's Internet ID program, which gives qualified physicians a PKI-based (public key infrastructure) digital certificate backed by the AMA standard. The combination of IAS with ARIIS will address the proposed HIPAA regulations and set a new standard for exchanging data electronically, according to Ferrans.

"Strong authentication is the key to strong security," he said. "IAS speeds the process and answers the question of 'who.' The ID is verified each time it is used, providing real-time authentication."

Through its Online Services group, Intel is also acting as Avreo's application hosting partner. Avreo is providing an application hosted at Intel's site in Chantilly, VA.

The company has an eye on the patient side of the equation as well. Intel IAS has a consumer component through Intel's relationship with Experian.

"Eventually we want to have patients securely access medical information," Ferrans said. "Medical content is tied to the medical record and access to that information benefits patients and physicians. Administrative and clinical standards will enable the portability of information."

-- Kathy Kincade

© 2000 Miller Freeman Inc.
12/13/00, Issue # 118, page 1.