German firms collaborate on Java-based electronic medical record

July 25, 2001

German software firms Visus Technology Transfer and ixmid Software Technologie have formed a partnership to integrate their image and information management technologies. The goal is to create an open-standards communications platform for a distributed

German software firms Visus Technology Transfer and ixmid Software Technologie have formed a partnership to integrate their image and information management technologies. The goal is to create an open-standards communications platform for a distributed electronic medical record (EMR) system.

A project at the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden at the Technical University Dresden combines ixmid’s ixserv findings management system with Visus-TT’s JiveX image communication system. Both products are Java-based, which was one reason the firms decided to collaborate.

Although much of the buzz about the Internet’s potential in healthcare has centered on XML (extensible markup language), a number of vendors continue to rely on Java for creating Web-based applications. Because of Java’s inherent independence from the various operating systems, anyone using a Java-capable browser can run Java programs or applets, thereby reducing implementation headaches and simplifying systems integration.

“The multistage solution developed in cooperation with Visus-TT enables us to realize a business-wide image and findings distribution system for our customers and support them in the process of optimizing their work routine,” said Ernst Munster, managing director of ixmid. “With the help of Visus-TT, we are now also able to fully integrate the image communications component.”

Through the partnership with ixmid, Visus-TT is providing its image distribution platform for use with the ixmid product and complementary EMRs. Visus-TT is focused on the integration of image data into the EMR and is providing various solutions for this purpose, from technology components for EMR providers to out-of-the-box image distribution systems, according to Holstein.

“The findings management system developed by ixmid is a perfect platform for the integration of an extremely wide range of applications, such as the distribution of images into a standardized concept,” said Jörg Holstein, managing director of Visus-TT. “Their system provides us with the necessary framework and offers efficient interfaces to a hospital’s workflow.”

This capability is critical to the development of a distributed EMR product that combines ixmid’s expertise in findings and order management with Visus-TT’s experience in image communication.

“Both systems provide a communication platform for the construction of a distributed EMR and its infrastructure,” Holstein said. “Apart from that, they supply the corresponding image and findings visualization tools.”

Founded in 1998, ixmid develops software and services for systems integration in a heterogenous environment. In addition to the project at University Hospital in Dresden, the company has installed equipment at Georg-August University Gottingen and University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf.

Visus-TT was formed last August to commercialize JiveX, which was originally developed by researchers at the University of Witten/Herdecke. JiveX uses Java to access and work with DICOM images. The core product, JiveX dv, is a DICOM viewer that can open DICOM images over the Internet or as e-mail attachments. The company’s product line also includes JiveX rv (a combination study manager and viewer), JiveX vb (software for visual presentation and processing of image data), JiveX ep (software to integrate image data into documentation/information systems), and JiveX cd (a viewer developed for images stored off-line on CDs).

Visus-TT already has several European installations, primarily in Germany. The company is also working with a U.S. partner, OTech Consulting, and plans to begin the FDA clearance process later this year, once ISO 9001 clearance is obtained. The company is actively seeking other sales and technology partners and specialized resellers in the U.S. and expects to have its first U.S. installation-a “big university hospital in Los Angeles,” said Holstein-up and running by the third quarter.