LifeImage and EMC Planning New Cloud Storage Service for Medical Data

2/23/10

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DR Systems says that it plans to publicly unveil its own cloud-based medical image sharing service dubbed “eMix,” a beta version of which has already been deployed at a few medical centers. Also, AccelaRAD, an Atlanta-based provider of medical imaging software, has launched a website called “Seemyradiology.com” to enable patients to share their digital medical images such as CT scans, X-rays, and ultrasound records with their doctors.

While competition in the cloud market is heating up, LifeImage is making progress in gaining customers for the enterprise version of its software, called “Lila” or the LifeImage Local Appliance, part of which was originally developed at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston. The software provides hospitals with software to upload images on incoming patients’ CDs to inboxes on their own IT networks, where physicians can view and share the records. There are now 20 hospitals or healthcare provider organizations that have either signed on to adopt the startup’s software or are about to sign on, including Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA, MGH, and Continuum Health Partners in New York. (We covered the economic argument for the lila software in our initial story about LifeImage last year.)

Tabatabaie says that he expects there will be more and more competitors in online image sharing in years to come. LifeImage is trying to foster an open dialogue with its competitors through its Image Sharing Forum, an online community that Tabatabaie says he hopes will lead to the development of common standards among all the vendors in this business. Common standards, he says, are key to enabling image-sharing services to be easily integrated into a multitude of hospital IT systems. Also, he wants people with LifeImage accounts to be able to share and accept images from people with similar online accounts from other vendors, another reason to have the standards in place.

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