Medcon's TCS solution helps Ingalls Memorial Hospital switch to filmless cath and echo labs

Whippany 20 February 2001Medcon Telemedicine Technology Inc. and Mennen Medical Corp. have been selected to install Medcon's TCS Cardiac Image Management and Archiving system at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, Illinois, to provide digital image management and archiving for the facility's x-ray angiography and echocardiology laboratories.

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A key factor in the decision formed the ability of Medcon's TCS to deliver integrated solutions combining the two modalities. This includes the sharing of the same cardiac network and archive, as well as display of both on a single screen for diagnosis.

"We felt that the department would become much more efficient if we eliminated film in the catheterisation lab as well as videotape in the echo lab and utilised the same application and hardware to integrate both modalities into a single electronic patient", commented P. Sandy Sundram, M.D., Medical Director of Cardiac Services for Ingalls Memorial Hospital.

After carefully investigating the market, Dr. Sundram found extremely few companies with a track record in filmless cath lab solutions and even fewer which offered integrated digital image management for echocardiography. Ingalls chief technologist Kathy Stone, RT, spent over one year investigating competing vendors, and the entire department participated in the final decision-making process that resulted in the selection of Medcon's TCS. They felt TCS offered the best solution, including several unique and extremely useful functions.

A crucial feature to the department was the ability to burn studies onto CDs for second opinions and communication with referring physicians. This enables us to send out first-generation data as well as to pare down copying costs while safeguarding our original studies, according to Mrs. Kathy Stone, who also added that Medcon's self-playing CD option eliminates the need for software installation on the end users' computers and meets all of the other hospital needs.

Medcon's TCS also lives up to all of Ingalls' additional criteria. It utilises off-the-shelf hardware, paring down installation costs as well as costs of future upgrades. Along with this, it provides an extremely user-friendly interface and the open architecture that would simplify future upgrades.

The new Ingalls installation includes DICOM acquisition and review stations in each of the hospital's two catheterisation labs. A review station in the doctors' reading room is available for reading of both angio and echo studies. A DICOM interface ties the existing echocardiology imaging systems into the TCS DICOM cardiac network. Large-scale short- and long-term storage for both modalities are offered by a RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disk) and jukebox.

"We know TCS will cut costs by allowing us to save on cine film usage and development, and will equally help us increase profits by enabling us to handle an increased patient load", commented Dr. Sundrum. "It has already made us more efficient and freed up storage space which we are now using for other purposes."

"Every customer will reap significant benefits with our new combined angiography and echocardiology system", stated Uzi Blumensohn, CEO at Medcon. "They will enjoy increased efficiency and convenience, while significantly minimising costs through elimination of hardware duplication in the two labs. Medcon's traditional high level of commitment to customers' satisfaction means we are now offering the best-of-breed solutions for both modalities." Mr. Blumensohn added that the partnership with Mennen Medical for sales, service, and support in select United States' regions has proven extremely successful.

Medcon Telemedicine Technology Inc. develops and markets a complete line of turnkey solutions for cardiac image management and archiving under the TCS name. It addresses a full spectrum of needs, from diagnostic filmless image management and archiving for catheterisation and echo labs, as well as exchange of cardiac images and information, known as tele-cardiology, to Internet/intranet distribution of cardiac images. Providing a wide variety of value-added benefits TCS plays a key role in both function and customisable features.

Medcon's TCS product line employs open architecture and strictly adheres to DICOM 3.0, HL7, as well as related industry standards. TCS supports most cardiac-related imaging modalities like echocardiography, x-ray angiography, as well as Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Nuclear Medicine, and Computed Tomography. It incorporates state of the art archiving such as state of the art DVD-based solutions. Medcon has large experience installing and servicing image network and tele-cardiology sites. Its solutions are implemented in leading cardiac centres across the United States, Europe, Japan, and South America.


Leslie Versweyveld

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