Physicians will be able to access mobile and web-based images, deliver faster care and cut unneeded visits

An Alberta-based Web and mobile diagnostic imaging specialist is at the centre of a huge new contract awarded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Calgary Scientific’s ResolutionMD enterprise image viewer technology will be used to run a new Web and mobile image viewing system for the VA’s gigantic health care network.

The competitive contract was awarded by the VA to Agilex, one of the largest health IT solution providers in the US. Agilex has partnered with Calgary Scientific for the viewing engine that will anchor the new system.

The new image viewing system will enable VA physicians, clinicians and caregivers, as well as patients, to access medical images from mobile and web devices securely and on-demand. It will help the VA improve care by speeding up diagnosis and treatment, building better collaboration and expanding telehealth options.

“What we’re allowing is for physicians to have access to CT, MRI, ultrasound, x-ray imaging from mobile or web devices,” Calgary Scientific president and CTO Pierre Lemire told IT World Canada. “A big part of the VA’s telehealth mission is to connect their specialty physicians and specialty caregivers and patients regardless of location. That’s what we’re bringing to the table.”

Calgary Scientific does work through its partners in many different countries around the world, Lemire said. The system is available in twelve languages already, with a Russian version on the way. Lemire said that Calgary Scientific is unique in that its technology is the only one with regulatory clearance on both the Android and iOS platforms in many parts of the world.

Built-in security is another differentiator, he said. Images are never stored on the mobile devices but always remain resident only on the originating data system, so if an end-user loses a mobile device the caregiving institution doesn’t have to worry about a breach of privacy – and the resulting penalties.

“Also, we offer a number of enterprise features,” Lemire said. “You can access multiple data sets and consolidate the results. Te institution can control which physicians have access to which images. So if an outside doctor gives a referral to an institution on our system, administrators can make sure that referring physician only has access to the images they should.”

The mobile access to imaging will improve the overall standard of care in the VA health system, Calgary Scientific says, and will help to reduce costs by cutting down on unnecessary clinic and hospital visits.

The system will be rolled out in a phased approach to each of the VA’s 21 separate geographically defined business units across the US. The VA’s healthcare network is the largest integrated health care system in the US, with more than 1700 hospitals, clinics and other facilities serving the country’s 22 million veterans.

The amount of the contract was not disclosed. Calgary Scientific views the contract award as an additional endorsement of PureWeb, the underlying server technology that powers ResolutionMD. The company is courting business from other sectors that require access to data-intensive graphical information, such as the energy sector and verticals where CAD data is applied.

The contract was awarded in mid-April, but U.S. federal procurement policies prohibited a public announcement until now. It must have been hard for Calgary Scientific’s president and CTO Pierre Lemire to keep mum even for a couple of weeks.

“This is a real milestone for Calgary Scientific,” he said. “This is the biggest contract in our history, and we’re looking to it to open up some huge opportunities for us.”

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