Merge Healthcare Unveils Newest 64-Bit Processing In PACS and RIS/PACS Viewed and Compared



    
    Solution overcomes memory limitations and system performance issues
    associated with 32-bit technology, especially for CT, breast MR, PET/CT
and
    other large studies
    

    MILWAUKEE, March 7 /CNW/ -- Merge Healthcare (Nasdaq:   MRGE; TSX: MRG), a
leading provider of medical imaging software and services, today announced the
release of Fusion PACS MX version 2.2 with native 64-bit processing.
    
    (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030430/MRGELOGO )
    
    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," says 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,"
says 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
additional information, visit Merge Healthcare's website at
www.mergehealthcare.com.





For further information:

For further information: Beth Frost-Johnson, Senior Vice President, 
Marketing for Merge Healthcare, +1-414-977-4000, bfrost@mergehealthcare.com, 
or Tim Kulbago, Chief Technology Officer for Merge Healthcare,
+1-330-655-3300,  tkulbago@mergehealthcare.com Web Site:
http://www.mergehealthcare.com

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