Medcon targets video in building miniPACSCompany focuses initially on cardiac image management The digital management of still medical images is becoming a mature technology. Storage and communication of video-based modalities such as
Company focuses initially on cardiac image management
The digital management of still medical images is becoming a mature technology. Storage and communication of video-based modalities such as angiography, however, have not generated much attention from vendors, largely due to the high level of added hardware and software components necessary to handle video images, according to executives at Israeli firm Medcon.
Aided by the rapidly increasing power of the PC, the Tel Aviv-based firm has developed a Windows NT-based line of software that allows video-intensive environments, such as cardiac cath labs, to convert to digital image management.
"PCs running on Windows NT are capable of performing the majority of the tasks involved in running video compression and decompression, communication, and networking," said general manager Uzi Blumensohn.
Medcon's technology currently supports angiography images, although cardiac nuclear medicine and ultrasound management capabilities will follow, Blumensohn said. A Pentium II-powered PC or higher is required to run Medcon's offerings, which feature Telecardiology System (TCS), a cardiac workstation that provides x-ray signal acquisition, DICOM-based CD storage, report generation, and telecardiology capabilities.
For a full network solution, Medcon offers MDNet, a network and archive management product that can support multileveled archiving, according to the company. CD-R is employed as an exchange media, and magneto-optical disks, digital linear tape, or CD-jukeboxes can be utilized for long-term archiving.
Medcon also has developed MDView, an entry-level unit that functions as a DICOM-based CD viewer. Internet/intranet image publishing is also possible via the company's MDWeb product. For quantitative assessment of coronary lesions and left-ventricular analysis, Medcon provides MDQM, an option that can be linked seamlessly to other Medcon products, according to the firm.
The company believes that one of its technology's key capabilities is to enable speedy movement of dynamic images to where they are needed. In fact, telecardiology options are embedded into all of the company's products, Blumensohn said.
Medcon was founded in 1993 by a group of technology and medical professionals, including Dr. Kobi Richter and Dr. Judith Richter, who founded the cardiology company Medinol and developed the Nir stent. Healthcare image management is Medcon's only business.
The company sells directly in some regions, but most areas are covered by distributors. In the U.S., Mennen holds distribution rights to approximately two-thirds of the country. Several global territories remain uncovered, however, and the company is looking for distributors to sell to Australia, South America, the Far East, and the portion of the U.S. not under contract to Mennen.
The company has been selling stand-alone systems since June 1997 and network and archive systems since October. Medcon is focused on meeting its goal of providing a complete cath lab image management solution. Once this objective is met, Medcon plans to expand to other medical specialties that employ video images.