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LuMedx universalizes access to cardiology information systems


LuMedx universalizes access to cardiology information systemsASP offering links patients, providers, vendorsLuMedx is working to make a new name for itself in the cardiology information systems business. Formerly known as Seattle Systems

LuMedx universalizes access to cardiology information systems

ASP offering links patients, providers, vendors

LuMedx is working to make a new name for itself in the cardiology information systems business. Formerly known as Seattle Systems (and Seattle Software before that), the Oakland, CA-based firm adopted the new moniker as part of a larger effort to expand beyond its core client-server products with a suite of ASP-based point-of-care data applications and services.

LuMedx is already considered the leading provider of clinical information systems for cardiovascular applications. Its flagship product Apollo is a data management application that integrates demographics, history, lab, and pharmacy data with detailed patient information to create a longitudinal patient record database and provide aggregate clinical and cost outcomes.

The company claims more than 250 customers worldwide, including one-third of the leading 40 U.S. cardiovascular centers, among them Massachusetts General Hospital, Stanford University Hospital, New England Medical Center, and Baylor University Medical Center. LuMedx also has key partnerships with several leading modality companies, including Philips, Siemens, Agilent, and ADAC. Philips integrates LuMedx’s Apollo 32 with its Inturis for Cardiology product line; Siemens markets a private-label version of Apollo called Cardea; Agilent sells and supports Apollo to its cardiology customers; and ADAC links its nuclear medicine imaging products with LuMedx’s CISs.

Now LuMedx is looking to further expand its dominance of the cardio CIS market by taking its expertise onto the Internet. The company believes it is in a key position to meet the growing need for enterprise data transactions in the healthcare environment, particularly in the cardiovascular arena.

“We are going from an applications business to a connectivity business,” said Allyn McAuley, president and CEO of LuMedx. “We want to provide a window for all the data in this (the cardiology) environment and create a data repository underneath it for outcomes research.”

The company’s first product in this direction was CardioRegistry.asp, launched earlier this year at the American College of Cardiology meeting (HNN 4/5/00). For a fixed monthly fee, CardioRegistry.asp provides hospitals and other healthcare institutions a way to contribute to the ACC’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry without having to manage on-site software upgrades or maintain on-site databases. The software supports encrypted data transfer to a remote data center over a virtual private network.

More recently, LuMedx introduced CardioChart.com, an Internet portal and ASP that extends the capabilities of the Apollo system and connects patients, physicians, hospitals, and vendors, improving their access to cardiovascular medical records and clinical outcomes data via the ASP. CardioChart.com integrates with any existing cardio CIS to give physicians remote, secure access to patient records and to national benchmarks from clinical data gathered at the point of care. It also gives patients Web-based access to their records and to physician-approved content, and it links hospitals and suppliers to improve operational efficiencies and create e-commerce opportunities.

“What CardioChart allows the user to do is pull reports not only from the Apollo data repository but also from different modalities that we interface with and to pull that information into a database at the Web site that allows anyone with a browser to pull up a report,” McAuley said. “The idea is to enable them to create a virtual EMR with a classic clinical data repository and make it accessible via a browser.”

CardioChart’s ASP platform and open architecture allow hospitals of any size to integrate the service into Apollo or any existing CIS. LuMedx has developed interface engines that pass all the data that are required from the boxes and send the information in XML packets to the data center, where it is processed and stored. LuMedx uses the Westin data center in Seattle but is transitioning to Exodus in San Jose and expects to be live there by November.

Images can be brought into CardioChart as well, although the ASP does not support this directly. LuMedx is partnering with two companies that are ASP’ing cardiovascular images to offer angiographics and ultrasound images stored at their data centers. Thus, if a user wants to add an ASP for image access to the standard CardioChart service, images can be brought into the patient record transparently at the desktop.

McAuley says that 11 LuMedx customers have so far committed to implementing CardioChart. The company charges $500 per user per month (plus a minimal setup charge of $3000) for the most basic configuration; the cost can vary considerably for a full-scale application delivered via ASP, depending on how it is implemented, the number of users, etc.

In addition to rolling out CardioChart.com, LuMedx is actively looking at wireless and Palm-based platforms that would bring CardioChart’s capabilities more directly to the point of care. The company is finalizing a partnership with an established wireless vendor to develop a Web cell phone and is working with MGH on a Palm-based system that will be shown at the ACC meeting next March.

“The beauty of Web technology is that you can leave everything distributed,” McAuley said. “Users no longer expect a unified database, so you no longer need one big GUI, and this allows very specialized, fast-moving technology to change at the point of care and still allow the integration. We believe the future (of cardio CIS) will be a truly decentralized set of solutions that are user defined.”

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