Cerner showcases new and updated image management software

June 11, 2003

SCAR annual meeting sees product previewsIT giant Cerner unveiled new software products during the Society for Computer Applications in Radiology (SCAR) annual meeting, held June 7 to 10 in Boston. The company updated its ProVision

SCAR annual meeting sees product previews

IT giant Cerner unveiled new software products during the Society for Computer Applications in Radiology (SCAR) annual meeting, held June 7 to 10 in Boston. The company updated its ProVision Web product with more powerful visualization tools and showcased a new software-driven management system, called Multimedia Foundation, designed to consolidate various kinds of images.

The ProVision upgrade enables 3D imaging with point-and-click segmentation, supports reconstruction of MR angiograms, and provides orthopedic templates that allow the planning of prosthesis placement.

"The previous version provided basic viewing tools," said Joe Racela, Cerner's marketing manager for radiology. "The new version is much more fully featured. The advantage comes from providing role-based tools that correspond with the clinician's role."

No sales projections are publicly available for the upgraded software, which will be released in the third quarter of this year. Its price will depend on the configuration, which can vary to accommodate different size populations of patients.

Cerner also launched at the SCAR meeting its Multimedia Foundation, a management architecture designed to support all types of images, including scanned documents, lab slides, and ER photographs. Coupled with the Cerner Millennium IT system, Multimedia Foundation will manage the acquisition, storage, and distribution of images from multiple sites. Notification will also be automated.

"It's a comprehensive architecture solution designed to allow enterprises to consolidate all of these imaging services under the Millennium umbrella," Racela said.

No other products are available to easily manage images coming out of numerous databases in different clinical departments.

"Using Multimedia Foundation, there will be only one place to go to find the desired images," Racela said.

The software is essential to improving efficiency, according to Louis Humphrey, solutions manager for Multimedia Foundation.

"This is a way to pull everything together in an integrated fashion, so that Millennium knows exactly where to go to distribute images," he said.

Calling the product an integral part of Millennium, Humphrey indicated every Millennium user might potentially become a Cerner Foundation user.

The new product releases will help bolster a sagging corporate image. In mid-April, the Kansas City, MO, company announced a 41% drop in quarterly net earnings on revenues that were lower than expected. The company noted, however, that the drop in sales that accounted for the earnings shortfall did not extend to the RIS/PACS sector (SCAN 4/16/03).

Cerner product offerings at the SCAR meeting were accompanied by details about an alliance the company has struck with IBM. The partnership is aimed at supporting the use of Cerner's RadNet RIS/PACS offering and ProVision with IBM hardware and networking.

When combined with IBM's xSeries server systems, Intellistation workstations, storage area networks (SAN) and security, ProVision will provide clinicians 24-hour secure, real-time access to medical and other images. ProVision PACS, when supported by IBM infrastructure, will offer the system service and reliability needed for optimal performance, according to Cerner.

Finally, multitiered storage options, scalable redundant array of inexpensive disks (RAID), and flexibility deployment strategies, including remote hosting, will enable configuration that can meet the needs of most PACS implementations, the company said.