Magnetic Research spin-off provides teleradiology systems

October 1, 1998

Magnetic Research spin-off provides teleradiology systemsNT-based TeleRad Stat also suitable for miniPACS applicationsSmall, independent companies are becoming an anomaly in the increasingly consolidating PACS and teleradiology market.

Magnetic Research spin-off provides teleradiology systems

NT-based TeleRad Stat also suitable for miniPACS applications

Small, independent companies are becoming an anomaly in the increasingly consolidating PACS and teleradiology market. One company hoping to buck that trend is DigiMed Systems, a small teleradiology and miniPACS software developer based in Provo, UT.

DigiMed Systems was formed in March when medical imaging and PACS veteran David Malley-aided by venture capitalists-purchased the Windows NT teleradiology assets under development at teleradiology firm Magnetic Research. That company had commercialized a DOS-based teleradiology product called TeleRad Stat, an offering that had been installed at about 70 sites.

Magnetic Research was in the process of developing an NT-based version of the software when Malley and his financial backers acquired the teleradiology business. All programmers and staff of the teleradiology unit were transferred to DigiMed to continue development of the NT-based TeleRad Stat.

The company has since brought the NT-based TeleRad Stat to market and has installed it at 23 sites for on-call teleradiology applications, and at two locations that are using the software in a miniPACS environment. The DOS version of TeleRad Stat has been discontinued.

The product line comes with an image server and database management software that allows users to select, route, and distribute medical images, reports, and voice annotations. A range of image review workstations is supported, including high-end diagnostic and clinical review stations, Malley said.

Key features of the TeleRad Stat software include automatic adaptive learning of physician preferences for window/level and image format, and voice and dynamic cursor annotation. The database is designed around a folder concept, and offers image autorouting, Malley said.

The company's offerings don't end with its own internally developed product. DigiMed is a value-added reseller of StorageTek's digital linear tape (DLT) archives, and can supply print network components from Merge Technologies. X-ray film digitizers from Lumisys and Vidar are also available to customers.

About 70% of the company's revenues are derived from the on-call teleradiology market, with the remainder consisting of miniPACS implementations such as in-house image distribution. While the company envisions most of its future growth coming from the miniPACS segment, it plans to retain its focus on on-call teleradiology, said Malley, who has worked at GE Medical Systems, Vortech Data, Eastman Kodak, and Merge.

"While other companies have backed away from on-call teleradiology, we have concentrated on it," he said.

Digimed sells TeleRad Stat directly and has annual revenues of approximately $1.2 million. The company is open to partnerships with larger PACS companies, whether it be an OEM relationship or some type of corporate marriage, Malley said.

"That's something we're always looking at, and we're considering all alternatives to address the needs of the marketplace," he said.

Malley's future plans include setting up a philanthropic organization that would provide the benefits of digital image management to areas that are poorly served, including rural areas and developing countries. DigiMed would contribute technology to the organization.