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MERGE HEALTHCARE UNVEILS 64-PROCESSING IN RIS/PACTS SOLUTIONS.

Merge Healthcare (Nasdaq: MRGE; TSX: MRG), Milwaukee, a leading provider of medical imaging software and services, has announced the release of Fusion PACS MX version 2.2 with native 64-bit processing.

Merge Healthcare's 64-bit processing enables radiologists to overcome limitations on their computer systems' memory usage, to view, compare and manipulate larger studies than with today's most commonly used 32-bit technology.

Cory Hall, Merge Healthcare's senior vice president, Product Management, explains, "32-bit systems are simply incapable of loading these large image sets completely into memory for display, resulting in inefficiencies. 64-bit enables the radiologist to load any study with as many relevant priors as needed without limitation on the workstation. This leads to more efficient and effective reading."

With 32-bit technology and with workarounds that add proprietary memory management, systems often run slowly or may even stop. Radiologist workflow is interrupted, causing frustration and costly delays, and potentially impacting clinical capabilities. With faster and more precise processing, an organization can optimize workflow, enhance productivity and improve clinical effectiveness.

"Newer studies, such as multi-slice CT, breast MR, and PET/CT yield thousands of images and place high demand on a computer's physical and virtual memory, especially during comparison viewing when current studies are displayed along with the priors," said Ramin Abrahim, MD, a radiologist with Washington Radiology Associates (WRA) which has six outpatient imaging facilities in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. "32-bit systems are simply incapable of loading these large image sets completely into memory for display. For example, with the 32-bit system we were unable to load two entire breast MRI studies. Now, with 64-bit processing, we can load any study with as many relevant priors as needed without limitation on the workstation. I recall simultaneously loading seven breast MRI studies, each with more than 1,600 images, without any system performance degradation. We praise this new technological accomplishment because of its inherent robust nature, efficiencies and resultant effective reading."

Many imaging vendors run 32-bit software on top of a 64-bit operating platform. This leverages a "32-bit emulation model" in which your software thinks the machine is smaller, and thus more solutions can run. This alone, however, does not enable loading thousands of images. Merge Healthcare is one of the first to take the next step by fully porting its PACS workstation to a 64-bit environment and making 64-bit processing native within its system.

"As modalities become more sophisticated, our customers require effective solutions to accommodate their output in ways that accelerate productivity," said Tim Kulbago, Chief Technology Officer of Merge Healthcare. "Our solution meets the realities of a radiologist's day and revolutionizes the way in which large studies, such as thin-slice CT and breast MR studies, are read and compared. On the horizon, we see significant opportunity for organizations to blend the power of a 64-bit PACS with their RIS to gain full clinical and business workflow that can substantially accelerate productivity."

Merge Healthcare is a market leader in the development and delivery of medical imaging and information management software and services. Our innovative software solutions use leading-edge imaging software technologies that accelerate market delivery for our OEM customers, while our end-user solutions improve our customers' productivity and enhance the quality of patient care they provide. Merge Healthcare's North American business unit is focused on accelerating productivity for radiology departments and specialty practices, imaging centers and hospitals. By combining sophisticated RIS, PACS, advanced visualization and clinical imaging applications, Merge Healthcare delivers integrated end-to-end software solutions and professional services that transform the way our customers interact with referring physicians, manage their workflow, position their businesses in their markets and deliver imaging and information services to their customers.

For more information, visit http://www.mergehealthcare.com or call 414/977-4000.
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Publication:Computer Workstations
Date:Apr 1, 2007
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