As the RSNA meeting date approaches, medical vendors' wheeling and dealing intensifies. Smaller companies are working to ally themselves with firms that are larger and more visible, hoping to provide that all-in-one, scalable, affordable
As the RSNA meeting date approaches, medical vendors' wheeling and dealing intensifies. Smaller companies are working to ally themselves with firms that are larger and more visible, hoping to provide that all-in-one, scalable, affordable "solution" that will win over customers. Following on the heels of Kodak's alliance with RealTimeImage (HNN 11/15/00), RTI competitor Stentor has found a partner in healthcare IT vendor IDX Systems.
Through this alliance, IDX gains access to the image distribution technology pioneered by Stentor, while Stentor gets to piggyback its iSyntax and iSite onto IDX's RIS and other connectivity products and information systems. Both companies will begin marketing and selling the combined product offering, which will be branded under the iSite name and introduced at the RSNA conference, at the end of the first quarter.
"IDX and Stentor are committed to providing services on a case-by-case, study-by-study basis," said Oran Muduroglu, president and CEO of Stentor. "Our pricing goal is to deliver image management solutions at half the cost of traditional models."
The ASP-based pricing will vary based on how many exams an institution is storing, according to Matt Long, vice president of sales and marketing for Stentor. Separate from the IDX-Stentor offering, IDX will continue to promote its products using a conventional pricing model, but the company is actively looking into the ASP model for its stand-alone offerings, said Debra Stenner, vice president of development for IDX's radiology and information solutions division.
Three key benefits to customers of the IDX-Stentor products are the ability to achieve image distribution with intelligence, direct impact on image and information management, and improvement of patient care across the enterprise, according to Muduroglu. The IDX-Stentor line also brings the referring physician into the patient information exchange.
"The combined offering primarily helps IDX to improve value in the delivery of healthcare," said Rich Tarrant, CEO of IDX. "The benefits perceived are not just reduced cost but also the improved value of healthcare by making it more convenient for the patient and referring physician. Remote diagnosis becomes more practical and the referring physician is more tightly in the care loop."
Through the integration of iSite with IDX's products such as Imaging Suite, IDXrad, and ConnectR, users will be able to access and manipulate images and text via the Web. The joint product offers multiple levels of security through a virtual private network (VPN) using group and access permissions, according to Stenner. A secure sockets layer protects the data transactions over the Web-based architecture. In addition, Stentor's image distribution has its own security provisions.
"We are doing our best to anticipate HIPAA from an image distribution point of view," Muduroglu said. "Logging of events is part of our shared products."
Stentor and IDX will both have distribution rights for their joint products, but Stentor will be more focused on non-IDX markets, according to Stenner. Because of the ASP pricing model, the companies expect to find customers among community hospitals as well as IDNs (integrated delivery networks).
"We intend to canvass and cover the entire healthcare industry as much as possible," Stenner said. "We will tie into medical record information systems with an initial focus on radiology, but our goal is to focus on multiple types of medical images."
© 2000 Miller Freeman Inc.
11/29/00, Issue # 117, page 2.