Ifa introduces new product range
The exchange of medical data to increase the efficiency and quality of patient care has played an important role this decade. This exchange must be defined and coordinated using open international standards. The worldwide leading manufacturers of medical technology and Health IT have decided to cooperate on initiatives that implement open standards.
Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) is the most important project in this context (www.ihe.net). An IHE Commitee was therefore set up, which is coordinated by the American Academy for Ophthalmology (www.aao.org). Two key standards have been evaluated and developed in IHE: DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine) and HL7 (Health Level 7).
Ifa has been an active member of these groups since 1996 and is now introducing the second generation of the product range. These are highly specialized software products, which are used, for instance, to facilitate the exchange of image data from the eye clinic with the central imaging archive of a hospital, where x-rays and laser diagnostics documents are stored.
Peter Scherer, Development Director of ifa united i-tech Inc., stated: "We have implemented two successful new pilot projects in the United States and Germany with the new product generation. It is a historic step for eye care units of large hospitals to be able to exchange images and data with the superordinate Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) at the push of a button. Parallel to this, with DICOM and HL7, data for highly developed medical technology and the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) are exchanged. Ifa's investments over the past 15 years are now also paying off very well for patients, physicians, and service providers."
The new software generation, including ecPACS and net4eyes are targeted at IT specialists in large clinics, as well as HITECH medical technology providers. Since the United States defined DICOM and HL7 as official national standards for medicine, there is now also security of investment beyond the market. Market analysts speak of worldwide DICOMization and see a high potential for Vendor Neutral Archives (VNA) for ophthalmologists.