Other headlinesDR growth continuesUltrasound meets gene therapy
Merge enhances EHR
Healthcare IT developer Allscripts has tapped Merge Healthcare’s Cedara WebAccess application to “image enhance” its electronic health record. The Cedara WebAccess portal will provide a zero-footprint method of distributing medical images and reports to clinicians using the Allscripts EHR. This same technology is being used by St. Paul-based Regions Hospital and across its 18 HealthPartners outpatient clinics and medical offices to bring imaging files into its Epic EHR. The two indicate different sides of the same coin, as Merge employs its OEM and end-user marketing strategies to sell its “zero-footprint” Cedara WebAccess technology for integrating EHRs and PACS. The Cedara WebAccess portal is appealing for its ability to do so without duplicating data or requiring proprietary integrations with individual IT systems, according to Merge. The company’s standards-based viewer makes images available through any Web browser.
DR growth continues
The macroeconomic meltdown is slowing but not stopping the growth of digital radiography, according to a study by market research firm InMedica. The world market for digital radiography will exceed $1.5 billion by 2013, a 12% boost over current revenues, according to the report. Restrictions in healthcare expenditures by healthcare providers are affecting sales at the high-end of the market, particularly sales of equipment based on flat panel detectors. These occur mostly in developed markets, such as Western Europe and North America. Strong growth continues, however, in the developing areas of the world, according to InMedica, where revenues are projected to increase from 37% of the global total in 2008 to 49% by 2013. China, which accounted for 10% of global general radiography revenues in 2008, is alone forecast to account for a quarter of DR global revenues in 2013.
Ultrasound meets gene therapy
Philips Research and GlyGenix Therapeutics are studying in preclinical trials the feasibility of using ultrasound to image and then blast therapeutic DNA into malfunctioning cells in the body. In collaboration with the Division of Medical Genetics at Duke University in Durham, NC, the two companies are looking into how this might help patients with Glycogen Storage Disease Type 1a, an inherited disease caused by a defective G6Pase gene. Philips and GlyGenix hope the disease might be cured by injecting healthy genes into the blood stream along with microbubbles that, when they near liver cells, are agitated or exploded with high frequency ultrasound, forcing the genes into the cells.