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Watson to Gain Ability to “See” with Planned $1B Acquisition of Merge Healthcare

Deal Brings Watson Technology Together with Leader in Medical Images

Armonk, NY and CHICAGO — [August 6, 2015]:  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Watson will gain the ability to “see” by bringing together Watson’s advanced image analytics and cognitive capabilities with data and images obtained from Merge Healthcare Incorporated’s (NASDAQ: MRGE) medical imaging management platform.  IBM plans to acquire Merge, a leading provider of medical image handling and processing, interoperability and clinical systems designed to advance healthcare quality and efficiency, in an effort to unlock the value of medical images to help physicians make better patient care decisions.

Merge’s technology platforms are used at more than 7,500 U.S. healthcare sites, as well as most of the world’s leading clinical research institutes and pharmaceutical firms to manage a growing body of medical images.  The vision is that these organizations could use the Watson Health Cloud to surface new insights from a consolidated, patient-centric view of current and historical images, electronic health records, data from wearable devices and other related medical data, in a HIPAA-enabled environment.

Under terms of the transaction, Merge shareholders would receive $7.13 per share in cash, for a total transaction value of $1 billion.  The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory review, Merge shareholder approval, and other customary closing conditions, and is anticipated to occur later this year.  It is IBM’s third major health-related acquisition – and the largest – since launching its Watson Health unit in April, following Phytel (population health) and Explorys (cloud based healthcare intelligence).

“As a proven leader in delivering healthcare solutions for over 20 years, Merge is a tremendous addition to the Watson Health platform.  Healthcare will be one of IBM’s biggest growth areas over the next 10 years, which is why  we are making a major investment to drive industry transformation and to facilitate a higher quality of care,” said John Kelly, senior vice president, IBM Research and Solutions Portfolio. “Watson’s powerful cognitive and analytic capabilities, coupled with those from Merge and our other major strategic acquisitions, position IBM to partner with healthcare providers, research institutions, biomedical companies, insurers and other organizations committed to changing the very nature of health and healthcare in the 21st century. Giving Watson ‘eyes’ on medical images unlocks entirely new possibilities for the industry.”

Teaching Watson to “See” Medical Images
The planned acquisition bolsters IBM’s strategy to add rich image analytics with deep learning to the Watson Health platform – in effect, advancing Watson beyond natural language and giving it the ability to “see.”  Medical images are by far the largest and fastest-growing data source in the healthcare industry and perhaps the world – IBM researchers estimate that they account for at least 90% of all medical data today – but they also present challenges that need to be addressed:

  • The volume of medical images can be overwhelming to even the most sophisticated specialists – radiologists in some hospital emergency rooms are presented with as many as 100,000 images a day1.
  • Tools to help clinicians extract insights from medical images remain very limited, requiring most analysis to be done manually.
  • At a time when the most powerful insights come at the intersection of diverse data sets (medical records, lab tests, genomics, etc.), medical images remain largely disconnected from mainstream health information.

IBM plans to leverage the Watson Health Cloud to analyze and cross-reference medical images against a deep trove of lab results, electronic health records, genomic tests, clinical studies and other health-related data sources, already representing 315 billion data points and 90 million unique records.  Merge’s clients could compare new medical images with a patient’s image history as well as populations of similar patients to detect changes and anomalies. Insights generated by Watson could then help healthcare providers in fields including radiology, cardiology, orthopedics and ophthalmology to pursue more personalized approaches to diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of patients.

Cutting-edge image analytics projects underway in IBM Research’s global labs suggest additional areas where progress can be made.  They include teaching Watson to filter clinical and diagnostic imaging information to help clinicians identify anomalies and form recommendations, which could help reduce physician viewing loads and increase physician effectiveness.

“As Watson evolves, we are tackling more complex and meaningful problems by constantly evaluating bigger and more challenging data sets,” Kelly said. “Medical images are some of the most complicated data sets imaginable, and there is perhaps no more important area in which researchers can apply machine learning and cognitive computing.  That’s the real promise of cognitive computing and its artificial intelligence components – helping to make us healthier and to improve the quality of our lives.”

Watson Health and Merge Capabilities Will Benefit Researchers, Clinicians and Individuals
IBM’s Watson Health unit plans to bring together Merge’s product and solution offerings with existing expertise in cognitive computing, population health, and cloud-based healthcare intelligence offerings to:

  • Offer researchers insights to aid clinical trial design, monitoring and evaluation;
  • Help clinicians to efficiently identify options for the diagnosis, treatment  and monitoring a broad array of health conditions such as cancer, stroke and heart disease;
  • Enable providers and payers to integrate and optimize patient engagement in alignment with meaningful use and value-based care guidelines; and
  • Support researchers and healthcare professionals as they advance the emerging discipline of population health, which aims to optimize an individual’s care by identifying trends in large numbers of people with similar health status.

“Merge is widely recognized for delivering market leading imaging workflow and electronic data capture solutions,” said Justin Dearborn, chief executive officer, Merge. “Today’s announcement is an exciting step forward for our employees and clients. Becoming a part of IBM will allow us to expand our global scale and deliver added value and insight to our clients through Watson’s advanced analytic and cognitive computing capabilities.”

“Combining Merge’s leading medical imaging solutions with the world-class machine learning and analytics capabilities of IBM’s Watson Health is the future of healthcare technology,” said Michael W. Ferro, Jr., Merge’s chairman. “Merge’s leading technology and proven expertise represent a unique combination of assets that will deliver unparalleled value to Watson Health clients. Together, we will unlock unprecedented new opportunities to improve patient diagnostics and deliver enhanced care.”

About Merge
Merge is a leading provider of innovative enterprise imaging, interoperability and clinical systems that seek to advance healthcare. Merge’s enterprise and cloud-based technologies for image intensive specialties provide access to any image, anywhere, any time. Merge also provides clinical trials software with end-to-end study support in a single platform and other intelligent health data and analytics solutions. With solutions that have been used by providers for more than 25 years, Merge is helping to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and enhance the quality of healthcare worldwide. For more information, visit merge.com and follow us @MergeHealthcare.

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing
Watson is the first commercially available cognitive computing capability representing a new era in computing. The system, delivered through the cloud, analyzes high volumes of data, understands complex questions posed in natural language, and proposes evidence-based answers. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions.

In January 2014, IBM launched the IBM Watson unit, a business dedicated to developing and commercializing cloud-delivered cognitive computing technologies. The move signified a strategic shift by IBM to deliver a new class of software, services and apps that improves by learning, and discovers insights from massive amounts of Big Data.  As part of the unit, the company has increased the number and diversity of cognitive computing services delivered to its partners, adding new beta Watson services in February 2015, and scalable deep learning APIs with the acquisition of AlchemyAPI in March 2015.

In April 2015, the company continued to build on its strengths in cognitive computing, analytics, security and cloud with the launch of IBM Watson Health and the Watson Health Cloud platform.  The new unit will help improve the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers to innovate by surfacing new insights from the massive amount of personal health data being created daily.  The Watson Health Cloud allows this information to be anonymized, shared and combined with a dynamic and constantly growing aggregated view of clinical, research and social health data.

About IBM
For more information on IBM Watson, visit: ibm.com/watson.  For more information on IBM Watson Health, visit: ibm.com/watsonhealth

Check out the IBM Watson press kit at: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/27297.wss

Join the conversation at #ibmwatson and #watsonhealth. Follow Watson on Facebook and see Watson on YouTube and Flickr.

Learn more about this story at: http://asmarterplanet.com/blog/2015/08/seeing-believing-bringing-cognitive-image-analytics-healthcare.html

– See more at: http://www.merge.com/News/Article.aspx?ItemID=660#sthash.YZ8EBkQT.dpuf

August 6, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

OnQ Research Selects Merge eClinical OS(TM) for Electronic Data Capture

Self-Run, Pay-As-You-Go Solution Provides More Control Over Costs and Flexible Decision-Support

CHICAGO, May 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Merge Healthcare Incorporated (Nasdaq:MRGE), a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, today announced that OnQ Research Pty Ltd, a South African based full-service Clinical Research Organization (CRO), has selected Merge’s eClinical OS™ solution for electronic data capture (EDC) to expand their in-house data management service offering.

“To further ensure the quality of our services and eliminate the need to subcontract data management, we were looking for an easy-to-use yet comprehensive system with a flexible costing model,” said Catherine Lund, Managing Director of OnQ Research.

“At OnQ Research, we believe in offering high quality, flexible contract research options to our clients, and were looking for a partner who does the same,” continued Lund. “We were thrilled to learn that Merge had launched a self-run, pay-as-you-go platform – something yet to be seen anywhere else in the industry. With Merge eClinical OS, we are able to select only the capabilities needed for a particular study, and keep upfront costs to a minimum.”

“With eClinical OS’ step-by-step, self-service Configurator, our clients can generate their own quotes and create budget scenarios in real-time,” said Zaher El-Assi, General Manager of Merge eClinical. “Cost-transparency and dynamic study estimates provide OnQ Research the flexibility and decision support tools needed as they continue to grow their business.”

Merge eClinical OS offers a single, easy-to-use interface for all data capture, processing and reporting functions needed to manage a trial. Clinical trial capabilities can be mixed and matched to build a solid foundation for each trial environment, and clients pay for only the functionality they need, when they need it. Plus, it delivers built-in study templates, libraries and reports to help users create studies quickly and manage them effectively without technical assistance. The latest advancements include the addition of a mobile alerts and reporting application, which allows users to review study data directly from any mobile web-enabled device. The mobile application is anticipated to be released later this month.

About Merge Healthcare

Merge is a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare. Merge’s enterprise and cloud-based solutions for image intensive specialties provide access to any image, anywhere, any time. Merge also provides health stations, clinical trials software and other health data and analytics solutions that engage consumers in their personal health. With solutions that are used by providers and consumers and include more than 20 years of innovation, Merge is helping to reduce costs and improve the quality of healthcare worldwide. For more information, visit merge.com.

About OnQ Research Pty Ltd

Founded in 1999 in Johannesburg, South Africa, OnQ is a niche provider of expert clinical research services, and has the capacity to undertake and facilitate an entire clinical trial in South Africa. OnQ has the ability to provide resource, and appropriate sites throughout Africa. OnQ has been involved in over 120 clinical trials, with a client database well in excess of thirty, which include major Pharmaceutical Companies, Biotech Companies, Medical Device Companies, International CROs, Donor/Government Funded Research and Academic Institutions. For more information, visit onqsa.co.za.

June 1, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Merge Seeing Rapid Adoption of New OrthoPACS Solution

More Than 650 Providers Select New Image Management and Digital Templating Solution

CHICAGO, March 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Merge Healthcare Incorporated (Nasdaq:MRGE), a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, today announced more than 650 orthopedic surgeons at more than 50 practices already have or in the process of implementing Merge OrthoPACSTM, a comprehensive image management and digital templating solution for orthopedics. In addition, many of the more than 500 practices that are using legacy technology from Merge plan to upgrade to Merge OrthoPACS in 2013.

“In 2012, we announced the release of Merge OrthoPACS, a comprehensive image management and digital templating solution for orthopedics,” said Jeff Surges, CEO of Merge Healthcare. “With the large number of practices that have already decided to upgrade, it means there are already hundreds of surgeons taking advantage of this new solution. We’re extremely pleased to see this rapid adoption and it successfully demonstrates our large investment and commitment to the orthopedic market.”

OrthoVirginia recently decided to upgrade to the new Merge OrthoPACS. “For us the most important thing was the underlying technology and our ability to quickly and smoothly upgrade,” explained Taylor Mawyer, IT Manager for OrthoVirginia. “We know that the solution is sound and that Merge has been a leader in imaging for many years. The new, additional functionality was very welcome, but it all came down the ability for Merge to smoothly move us from our Styker Office PACS 4.1 to this next generation solution.”

Merge OrthoPACS, a comprehensive image management and digital templating solution for orthopedics, lets orthopedic surgeons access images taken at multiple locations in a single viewer, diagnose from anywhere at anytime, plan for surgery with digital templating, and securely archive studies. Orthopedic surgeons will find that the new solution seamlessly fits into and enhances their current workflow. For example:

−  Orthopedic-specific workflows are built into Merge OrthoPACS, from clinic use to the operating room.

−  The Merge OrthoPACS zero-footprint client viewer can be the sole viewer for an orthopedic practice. That means reading images will be no different whether a surgeon reads from their workstation, their iPad, or another device.

−  The Merge OrthoPACS viewer also provides access to pre-surgical templating, including advanced measurements and automated hip templating.

About Merge Healthcare

Merge is a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare. Merge’s enterprise and cloud-based solutions for image intensive specialties provide access to any image, anywhere, any time. Merge also provides health stations, clinical trials software and other health data and analytics solutions that engage consumers in their personal health. With solutions that are used by providers and consumers and include more than 25 years of innovation, Merge is helping to reduce costs and improve the quality of healthcare worldwide. For more information, visit merge.com.

The Merge Healthcare logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=10757

 

March 27, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Providers Say Agfa Healthcare Has Room for Improvement as an Imaging Partner

OREM, Utah – Wednesday, February 20, 2013 – Agfa HealthCare’s stated core belief is centered around helping imaging providers succeed, yet a majority of  U.S. clients interviewed by KLAS report gaps in reaching desired results when using Agfa as a vendor. The reasons and other details can be found in the new KLAS vendor-specific report Agfa HealthCare Study 2013: Partnering with Agfa in 2013.

Throughout 2012, KLAS published a series of reports focused on imaging solutions. These reports, as well as discussions with providers, revealed that Agfa was losing client loyalty in some areas due to weak customer relations. In order to further understand this situation, KLAS launched a performance study to specifically evaluate Agfa. With the exception of x-ray equipment and speech recognition systems, Agfa receives second-tier scores across their suite of imaging solutions. However, as provider concerns grow around Agfa as a partner, there is a clear opportunity for Agfa-and other imaging vendors-to improve in helping their clients succeed.

Even with the challenges Agfa faces, they are showing early signs of success and leadership in several aspects of enterprise imaging. One of Agfa’s strengths is scaling IMPAX PACS in large, complex provider organizations. Scalability is an attribute that is important to some providers.

“This report is aimed not just at measuring how well Agfa is currently delivering synergistic solutions to their clients,” says Matt Terry, research director at KLAS and report author, “but its purpose is to also look into user perceptions and provider confidence in moving forward with Agfa.”

Other imaging vendors mentioned in this report include Merge Healthcare, McKesson, FUJIFILM, GE Healthcare, Philips, Carestream, and Siemens. To learn more about this vendor-specific report, the strategic imaging partners in the study, and the related reports published in 2012, providers and vendors can check out the full report, Agfa HealthCare Study 2013: Partnering with Agfa in 2013. This is a vendor-specific report and is available to healthcare providers at a significant discount. To purchase, visit www.KLASresearch.com/KLASreports.

About KLAS
KLAS is a research firm on a global mission to improve healthcare delivery by enabling providers to be heard and to be counted. Working with thousands of healthcare executives and clinicians, KLAS gathers data on software, services, medical equipment, and infrastructure systems to deliver timely reports, trends, and statistical overviews. The research directly represents the provider voice and acts as a catalyst for improving vendor performance. KLAS was founded in 1996, and KLAS’ staff and advisory board members average 25 years of healthcare information technology experience. For more information, go to www.KLASresearch.com, email marketing@KLASresearch.com, or call 1-800-920-4109 to speak with a KLAS representative. Follow KLAS on Twitter @KLASresearch.

February 18, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Tampa General Hospital Selects Merge CTMS for Enterprise Clinical Research Platform

Integration With Epic EMR to Increase Efficiency and Minimize Duplication of Patient Data

CHICAGO, Jan. 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Merge Healthcare Incorporated (Nasdaq:MRGE), a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, today announced that Tampa General Hospital selected Merge’s CTMS for Investigators solution for enterprise-wide management of its clinical trials.

Tampa General Hospital’s goal was to increase efficiency and centralize their business operations. They sought a CTMS to manage more than 500 active studies annually across all therapeutic areas, and track study activities for over 100 study coordinators. Billing compliance, financial accountability, patient and enrollment tracking, and reporting for management oversight were all important criteria in selecting a CTMS system.

“With the continued growth of clinical trial activities, we needed a better way to streamline data collection and reporting, as well as a more accurate method for tracking billing activities. We had previously relied on data collected in spreadsheets and multiple databases, and a time-consuming process to produce reports,” said Beth Kohl, Manager, Office of Clinical Research at Tampa General Hospital. “We sought a CTMS that would centralize and organize our research operations to replace numerous manual and fragmented methods of capturing and recording data. After evaluating several CTMS systems, we felt that Merge CTMS provided us the standardization needed, as well as the reporting capabilities to meet our compliance, study and patient tracking, enrollment metrics, and financial requirements.”

The ability for the CTMS to integrate with an existing electronic medical record (EMR) system was also a priority for Tampa General Hospital, so users could have easy access to study patients from a centralized database used throughout the hospital.

“Another important factor in our decision was Merge’s vast systems integration experience,” continued Kohl. “A key component of this project will be an HL7 integration, allowing us to feed data from our Epic EMR into Merge CTMS. Through enhanced patient study searches and the elimination of duplicate data entry, this integration will yield significant efficiency improvement for research operations.”

“As an existing Merge Cardio™ and Hemo™ client, Tampa General Hospital was excited to expand their partnership with Merge. Tampa General Hospital expressed specific needs in looking for a CTMS system to consolidate and streamline their clinical trial management and research operations throughout the organization,” said Justin Dearborn, President of Merge Healthcare. “We’re pleased that Merge CTMS provides the opportunity to meet these needs using a highly intuitive interface for a wide variety of users who will access the application on a daily basis.”

Through enhanced productivity and business management tools, Merge CTMS for Investigators allows research organizations to centralize study information, organize research activities, and improve recruitment and financial performance. Merge CTMS scales easily from one to many sites, offering a comprehensive suite of CTMS tools for independent research sites, physician networks, SMOs, hospitals, health systems and academic medical centers.

About Merge Healthcare

Merge is a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare. Merge’s enterprise and cloud-based solutions for image intensive specialties provide access to any image, anywhere, any time. Merge also provides health stations, clinical trials software and other health data and analytics solutions that engage consumers in their personal health. With solutions that are used by providers and consumers and include more than 20 years of innovation, Merge is helping to reduce costs and improve the quality of healthcare worldwide. For more information, visit merge.com.

The Merge Healthcare logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=10757

About Tampa General Hospital

Tampa General is a private not-for-profit hospital and one of the most comprehensive medical facilities in West Central Florida serving a dozen counties with a population in excess of 4 million. As one of the largest hospitals in Florida, Tampa General is licensed for 1,018 beds, and with approximately 6,600 employees, is one of the region’s largest employers. For more information, visit tgh.org

Cautionary Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The matters discussed in this news release may include forward-looking statements, which could involve a number of risks and uncertainties. When used in this press release, the words “will,” “believes,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “expects” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements. Except as expressly required by the federal securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to update such factors or to publicly announce the results of any of the forward-looking statements.

February 6, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Huntington Memorial Hospital Selects iConnect(R) for Community-Wide Image Interoperability

Solutions Provide Anywhere, Any Time Access to Images and Enterprise-Wide Image Archive

CHICAGO, Nov. 19, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Merge Healthcare Incorporated (Nasdaq:MRGE), a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, today announced that Huntington Memorial Hospital, a 625-bed, not-for-profit community-focused regional medical center, has selected Merge PACS™ and the entire iConnect® Enterprise Clinical Platform to image-enable both their hospital inpatient EHR as well as their community health information exchange, Huntington Health eConnect.

“Our mission Right Care, Right Place, Right Time requires getting the right information in the right hands and on the right device including patient images,” explained Rebecca Armato, Executive Director, Physician and Interoperability Services at Huntington Hospital. “This is just another example of our continued investment to improve the health of our community and continues our vision of creating a connected, collaborative community of care by providing a consolidated, comprehensive view of patient care to their caregivers regardless of technology or EHR. Merge’s iConnect Enterprise Clinical Platform and Merge PACS solutions will act as the foundation for viewing images and will have a positive impact on patient care.”

“The goal of our Imaging Department is to become a fully clinically integrated program with our community of providers. This system is one of the first of many steps that will help us to archive and we are very excited,” explained Donna Townsend, Executive Director Cardiovascular, Gastroenterology and Imaging Services, Huntington Hospital.

“In addition, our enterprise-wide approach will ensure a seamless workflow and immediate access via a single viewer to all prior exams for our partners, The Hill Medical Corporation, where nineteen radiologists provide comprehensive outpatient radiology services in three state-of-the-art imaging centers,” Armato added.

“Now that Meaningful Use Stage 2 rules include image-enabling the EHR as a menu set measure, leading organizations like Huntington Hospital are looking to quickly and easily image-enable their enterprises for compliance,” added Jeff Surges, CEO, Merge Healthcare. “Now the 2,000+ physicians and caregivers in the San Gabriel Valley who connect to Huntington Health eConnect will be able to access images regardless of EMR or technology they utilize.”

Merge’s iConnect Enterprise Clinical Platform is the industry’s only comprehensive solution for collecting, archiving, viewing, sharing and exchanging any type of image, anywhere, any time. It includes iConnect® Access*, a zero-download DICOM image and XDS server, iConnect® Share, a gateway for image sharing across the enterprise and iConnect® Enterprise Archive, a vendor-neutral archive to create an enterprise imaging strategy. It works with existing applications, leveraging widely-used web and healthcare technology standards, to provide a vendor neutral interoperable environment.

A recent InMedica study reported iConnect Enterprise Archive as the world’s #1 vendor-neutral archive. As the industry’s first true standalone vendor-neutral archive, it has been successfully integrated with over seventy-five PACS vendors and specialty workstations at over 350 sites across the United States. In over half of the implementations, Merge’s customers have integrated third-party PACS systems with iConnect Enterprise Archive.

Merge PACS, a real-time picture archiving communication system, enhances clinical, operational and administrative functions with an approach that emphasizes workflow efficiency and customer satisfaction. Its modular design allows for easy integration with a broad range of third-party systems.

*iConnect Access is not FDA-cleared for diagnostic use on mobile devices.

About Merge Healthcare

Merge is a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare.  Merge’s enterprise and cloud-based solutions for image intensive specialties provide access to any image, anywhere, any time. Merge also provides health stations, clinical trials software and other health data and analytics solutions that engage consumers in their personal health. With solutions that are used by providers and consumers and include more than 20 years of innovation, Merge is helping to reduce costs and improve the quality of healthcare worldwide. For more information, visit merge.com.

November 26, 2012 I Written By

Summit Radiology Associates Selects Merge for End-to-End Radiology Solutions

Full Suite of Applications Provides Scalability and Path to Meaningful Use

CHICAGO, Nov. 8, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Merge Healthcare Incorporated (Nasdaq:MRGE), a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, today announced that Summit Radiology Associates, a multi-site practice, will implement Merge’s end-to-end suite of Radiology Solutions to improve workflow and achieve Meaningful Use.

“Summit Radiology Associates interprets studies for three sites: a busy hospital, a large multi-specialty practice, and a free-standing imaging center in Westfield, New Jersey,” explained Dr. Amir Salomon, President, Summit Radiology Associates. “With the growing complexity of healthcare, we sought a system that would increase our efficiency and enhance our workflow. We needed a vendor whose solutions could quickly and easily scale to fit our growing needs. In Merge, we found an innovative partner at the forefront of the field offering a comprehensive suite of solutions.”

“Additionally, by selecting the latest version of Merge’s end-to-end Radiology Solutions, we will be well positioned to pursue Meaningful Use for many of our radiologists,” added Marisol Ortiz, Business Manager, Summit Radiology Associates. “This will enable us to receive Meaningful Use incentive payments over the next four years and avoid future penalties.”

“Meaningful Use is the basis for health information exchange in the U.S. and our goal at Merge is to help make it easy for specialists to qualify for incentives and realize the true benefits of the program,” said Jeff Surges, CEO of Merge Healthcare.  “With the recently announced Stage Two requirements that focus heavily on the viewing of diagnostic images, it’s clear that specialties like radiology are very much included in Meaningful Use. Now is the time for specialty physicians to adopt a Meaningful Use strategy so they can qualify for Stage One funding, while preparing for Stage Two.”

Merge Radiology Solutions include Merge RISTM, a web-based radiology information system that streamlines workflow and enables providers to meet Meaningful Use criteria; Merge PACSTM, a real-time picture archiving communication system that provides storage and access to images from any enterprise web-based location; Merge FinancialsTM, a comprehensive billing system; Merge DocumentsTM, a paperless office solution to store and manage documents electronically; Merge Referral PortalTM, a web-based portal to engage referring physicians; and Merge DashboardsTM, an on-demand business intelligence solution.

About Merge

Merge is a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare.  Merge’s enterprise and cloud-based solutions for image intensive specialties provide access to any image, anywhere, any time. Merge also provides health stations, clinical trials software and other health data and analytics solutions that engage consumers in their personal health. With solutions that are used by providers and consumers and include more than 20 years of innovation, Merge is helping to reduce costs and improve the quality of healthcare worldwide. For more information, visit merge.com.

November 21, 2012 I Written By

Tigermed Selects Merge eClinical to Improve Study Management Efficiency

CTMS Solution Provides Single Platform for Management of Clinical Study Activities

CHICAGO, Oct. 22, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Merge Healthcare Incorporated (Nasdaq:MRGE), a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, today announced that Tigermed Consulting Co., Ltd. has selected Merge eClinical’s CTMS solution for Sponsors and CROs to streamline clinical trial management (CTMS) and maximize operational efficiency across its studies.

Based in Shanghai, China, Tigermed is a leading Contract Research Organization (CRO) providing regulatory, clinical and data management services. With several offices located in Asia, including China, South Korea and Japan, partnering with Merge for CTMS will support Tigermed’s expansion of operations into Europe and North America.

“We were seeking a CTMS system that was cost-effective, scalable and easy to use,” explained Dr. Xiaoping Ye, Chairman and General Manager at Tigermed. “With Merge CTMS, we expect to see a significant improvement in our study management efforts, allowing us to pass on cost savings to our clients.”

“With Merge, our clients can be assured that we will track study enrollment and other critical study details in an easy to learn, intuitive interface, accessible via the web by our staff throughout the region,” Dr. Ye continued. “This will allow us to improve study management by ensuring we have reliable, quality data.”

“We are pleased to have been selected as a CTMS partner for Tigermed’s global clinical trial needs,” said Justin Dearborn, President of Merge Healthcare. “This is the largest single transaction Merge has entered into in China to date. With increasing demand for site and data collection solutions in the Asia-Pacific region, we believe our eClinical solution will continue to gain traction. Our straight-forward interface and simplified user experience allows studies to be managed in a fraction of the time of other solutions. Bundled with the industry’s best training and support, Tigermed now has a complete study management solution in Merge CTMS.”

About Merge

Merge is a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare. Merge’s enterprise and cloud-based solutions for image intensive specialties provide access to any image, anywhere, any time. Merge also provides health stations, clinical trials software and other health data and analytics solutions that engage consumers in their personal health. With solutions that are used by providers and consumers and include more than 20 years of innovation, Merge is helping to reduce costs and improve the quality of healthcare worldwide. For more information, visit merge.com.

About Tigermed

Tigermed Consulting Co., Ltd. is a leading Contract Research Organization (CRO) in China dedicated to providing regulatory affairs, Phase I–IV clinical trials, data management, biostatistics, medical translation and GCP training services for healthcare products. Since its inception in 2004, Tigermed has been committed to accelerating product development timelines while reducing R&D costs and risks, helping to bring the miracles of new products to market effectively.

November 20, 2012 I Written By

Erie County Medical Center Selects iCONNECT(R) for Enterprise-Wide Image Interoperabilty

Solutions Provide Anywhere, Any Time Access to Images and Enterprise-Wide Image Archive

CHICAGO, Nov. 13, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Merge Healthcare Incorporated (Nasdaq:MRGE), a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, today announced that Erie Country Medical Center (ECMC) has selected Merge Healthcare’s iConnect® Enterprise Archive and iConnect® Access to provide real-time access to images and information.

“Our enterprise-wide imaging strategy builds on our longtime relationship with Merge and will extend our image sharing and interoperability capabilities across our entire health system,” said Leslie Feidt, CIO, ECMC. “We believe this approach will deliver real return as we eliminate departmental silos, improve workflow for our physicians and, ultimately, enhance patient care with anywhere, any time access to images.”

“Now that Meaningful Use Stage 2 rules include image-enabling the EHR as a menu set measure, customers like ECMC are looking to quickly and easily image-enable their EHR and entire enterprise,” added Jeff Surges, CEO, Merge Healthcare. “Now ECMC physicians, regardless of specialty and affiliation, will have access to images for enhanced patient care directly via their MEDITECH electronic health record.”

Merge’s iConnect® Enterprise Clinical Platform is the industry’s only comprehensive solution for collecting, archiving, viewing, sharing and exchanging any type of image, anywhere, any time. It includes iConnect Access*, a zero-download DICOM image and XDS server, iConnect Share, a gateway for image sharing across the enterprise and iConnect Enterprise Archive, a vendor-neutral archive to create an enterprise imaging strategy. It works with existing applications, leveraging widely-used web and healthcare technology standards, to provide a vendor neutral interoperable environment.

Merge’s iConnect Enterprise Archive is the number one vendor neutral archive in the world and has been successfully integrated with over seventy-five PACS vendors and specialty workstations at over 350 sites across the United States. In over half of iConnect Enterprise Archive implementations, Merge’s customers have integrated third-party PACS systems.

*iConnect Access is not FDA-cleared for diagnostic use on mobile devices.

About Merge Healthcare

Merge is a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare.  Merge’s enterprise and cloud-based solutions for image intensive specialties provide access to any image, anywhere, any time. Merge also provides health stations, clinical trials software and other health data and analytics solutions that engage consumers in their personal health. With solutions that are used by providers and consumers and include more than 20 years of innovation, Merge is helping to reduce costs and improve the quality of healthcare worldwide. For more information, visit merge.com.

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Wenatchee Valley Medical Center Selects Merge’s iConnect(R) for Regional HIE

Also Upgrades to Merge PACS to Standardize Enterprise-Wide Imaging Around Merge Solutions

CHICAGO, Oct. 18, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Merge Healthcare Incorporated (Nasdaq:MRGE), a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, today announced Wenatchee Valley Medical Center (WVMC) has selected Merge PACSTM to upgrade their existing PACS and Merge’s iConnect® Enterprise Archive to provide real-time access to images and information for care providers across their region.

“WVMC is a large rural healthcare delivery system with a regional focus and a commitment to serve patient needs. To effectively deliver on that mission, we’re establishing a regional health information exchange (HIE) that will allow sister organizations like Central Washington Hospital (CWH) and other regional hospitals to have anywhere, any time access to patient images and data,” said Jay Johnson, Associate Administrator, WVMC. “Merge’s iConnect Enterprise Archive will serve as the backbone for this initiative and its advanced replicated content management capabilities will ensure a fully redundant disaster recovery solution for imaging across our enterprise and region.”

“We are pleased to be a part of the initiative to develop a health information exchange for images in our region,” added John Hamilton, Interim CEO, CWH. “We previously selected Merge’s iConnect® Share and iConnect Enterprise Archive as well. The seamless combination of these solutions will allow our two organizations and others in our area to easily share and access patient images.”

“While we’re working to develop our regional exchange, we also made the decision to upgrade our PACS to Merge PACS,” added Karla Gustafsson, Associate Director of Radiology. “We’re excited about the clinical, operational and administrative efficiencies that we believe this will deliver to our busy radiologists.”

“We are pleased to see WVMC, a long-time Merge client, extend our solutions across their enterprise,” said Jeff Surges, CEO of Merge Healthcare. “Diagnostic images are a critical component of a patient’s electronic medical record. By being able to deliver those images faster and by providing better access to that content, our iConnect solutions will assist physicians to more quickly diagnose patients across the entire North Central Washington region.”

iConnect Enterprise Archive and iConnect Share are part of the iConnect® Enterprise Clinical platform, Merge’s comprehensive offering for viewing, sharing and archiving any type of image, anywhere, any time. It also includes iConnect Access*, a zero-download DICOM image and XDS server. iConnect Enterprise Archive acts as the backbone of an enterprise imaging strategy. With current trends in patient safety and healthcare reform as well as competition for referring physicians, the need for image sharing across the enterprise is more critical than ever.

A recent InMedica study reported iConnect Enterprise Archive as the world’s #1 vendor-neutral archive. As the industry’s first true standalone vendor-neutral archive, it has been successfully integrated with over seventy-five PACS vendors and specialty workstations at over 350 sites across the United States. In over half of the implementations, Merge’s customers have integrated third-party PACS systems with iConnect Enterprise Archive.

Merge PACS, a real-time picture archiving communication system, enhances clinical, operational and administrative functions with an approach that emphasizes workflow efficiency and customer satisfaction. Its modular design allows for easy integration with a broad range of third-party systems.

*iConnect Access is not FDA‐cleared for diagnostic use on mobile devices.

About Merge

Merge is a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare. Merge’s enterprise and cloud-based solutions for image intensive specialties provide access to any image, anywhere, any time. Merge also provides health stations, clinical trials software and other health data and analytics solutions that engage consumers in their personal health. With solutions that are used by providers and consumers and include more than 20 years of innovation, Merge is helping to reduce costs and improve the quality of healthcare worldwide. For more information, visit merge.com.

November 17, 2012 I Written By