Discovery bags big telerad contract

April 22, 1992

Discovery Technologies of Longmont, CO, has completed installationof its latest teleradiology network, which connects five ruralhospitals and 13 consulting physicians in West Virginia and southwesternPennsylvania over voice-grade telephone lines.

Discovery Technologies of Longmont, CO, has completed installationof its latest teleradiology network, which connects five ruralhospitals and 13 consulting physicians in West Virginia and southwesternPennsylvania over voice-grade telephone lines. Additional clinicsin the region may soon join the network.

"Referring physicians now have quick access to a diagnosis,"said Gary Marano, M.D., president of Radiological ConsultantsAssociation (RCA) of Fairmont, WV. "We now have better diagnosticconfidence in our consults because the image resolution (2000-linescan) is far superior to our former (1000-line scan) teleradiologysystem."

RCA's teleradiology network is the latest of 35 installationsby Discovery at sites across the U.S. The system is expected toimprove consultation speed and reduce the isolation of physiciansin remote areas. Discovery recently installed a similar teleradiologynetwork at the University of Iowa for rural hospitals in Iowa,Nebraska and Arkansas.

RCA's network had been in development since June 1990, accordingto Michael Bolser, vice president of marketing at Discovery. Digitizersemployed by RCA can scan film as large as 14 x 17 inches. Oncescanned, the equipment can compress and transmit the data within40 seconds.

Key to the efficiency of RCA's network is data transmissionover voice-grade telephone lines, Bolser said. This reduces theoperating cost of the network from about $750 per month per locationfor a dedicated high-speed data line to $17 per month per line,he estimated.

RCA's new teleradiology system costs more than $300,000. Theinstallation includes software upgrades, component replacementin the event of failure and access to Discovery's 24-hour technicalhotline, he said.

Last week, Financial Surety Services, a wholly owned subsidiaryof Allstate Acceptance, signed a letter of intent to acquire acontrolling interest in Discovery following completion of thepreviously announced merger of the teleradiology firm with GlobesatHolding. Discovery shareholders will receive stock in Globesatfollowing that firm's acquisition of Discovery's assets.

Globesat has an exclusive worldwide license from the Utah StateUniversity Foundation for commercialization of image compressiontechnology developed at the university. Nine patents related tothis technology are pending (SCAN 2/11/92).

BRIEFLY NOTED:

  • GE Medical will introduce its mid-field Vectra MRI systeminto the U.S. at the Society for Magnetic Resonance Imaging meetingin New York this month. The system received 510(k) approval fromthe Food and Drug Administration last month.

GE introduced Vectra last year in both Japan and Europe. Vectraemploys state-of-the-art electronics and software technology.The 0.5-tesla MRI system offers more advanced fast scanning andimage display and processing technology than the older 0.5-teslaMR Max (SCAN 10/23/91).

Combined with the 0.5-tesla version of GE's Signa MRI system,GE's marketing of Vectra will put the largest medical imagingvendor in the unique position of offering three MRI units thatoperate at the same field strength.