Siemens debuts Web-based image distribution serviceAcom.Web extends firm’s enterprise strategySiemens Medical Systems continues to broaden its product offerings with integrated systems and data distribution technologies such as Syngo
Acom.Web extends firms enterprise strategy
Siemens Medical Systems continues to broaden its product offerings with integrated systems and data distribution technologies such as Syngo and SieNet MagicWeb (PNN 1/00, 2/00). The companys latest image distribution network product, Acom.Web, allows images in all modalities to be distributed over the Internet or an intranet. Iselin, NJ-based Siemens developed Acom.Web from its Acom.Net system. Acom.Web supports backward compatibility with all Siemens cardiology and radiology equipment. Although the company is emphasizing the cardiology applications of Acom.Web, customers can opt to install the product in their radiology department first, and then expand to cardiology or not, depending on their specific needs.
Acom.Web illustrates the growing popularity of the Internet as the medium of choice for communication and distribution, and Siemens is among several major modality and software vendors moving in this direction. For example, MedEcho has taken its ultrasound imaging to the Web (PNN 3/00); Image Medical and Comdisco have announced Web-based image management (PNN 2/00, 3/00); and GE Medical has established a dedicated healthcare solutions group following its acquisition of Mecon, a provider of Web-based workflow and performance management products (see p. 4).
We first stepped into the image management arena with filmless review stations that wrote to CDs; from there we introduced a PC-based workstation; then we went into a cardiac network with archiving; now to the Web, said Sandy Black, cardiac product manager for Siemens Medical Systems. Customers who have bought our cath labs and Acom systems (Siemens digital cardiology systems) will be able to use this new technology.
The Acom.Web distribution network is housed on a server that the healthcare provider can purchase from Siemens or other vendors or set up using existing equipment. Siemens can configure the system to automatically capture radiology and cardiology images or to require users to select images that will be uploaded to the server.
The server houses a patient database programmed in structured query language (SQL), and the uploaded imaging files are linked to patient records in the database. Users can access this database from any Internet- or intranet-connected computer via the Acom.Web software and can view radiology and cardiology images for a particular patient side by side on a split screen. The images are stored temporarily on the server; as the servers storage capacity is reached, new files displace older files.
Because Acom.Web is a distribution network, customers must have a separate system, such as Siemens Acom.Net digital cardiac network, in place for archiving the images. Acom.Web will accept any DICOM send function and can be purchased separately from Acom.Net.
Acom.Web is based on floating licenses, which allow a set number of users to access the image distribution software. Customers can use their existing equipment (PCs or Macintoshes) to run Acom.Web, but must have Internet Explorer to install and use Acom.Webs software.
Siemens plans to market Acom.Web to hospitals and medical centers that have both cardiology and radiology departments. Pricing for Acom.Web depends on the options the customer selects, such as number of user licenses, user interfaces, and amount of hardware purchased. The cost is expected to range between $75,000 and $300,000, according to Black.