Impact Labs launches Master Archive Medical Edition compression software for DICOM medical images

Boston 09 June 2003At the 20th Annual Symposium on Computer Applications in Radiology (SCAR 2003) Impact Labs has introduced its next-generation DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine) compression server, Master Archive Medical Edition 3.5. This Windows-based application, being developed specifically for compressing and encrypting DICOM files including digital X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, etc., is one of three specialised image compression applications.

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When saved in a digital format, medical images create large electronic files that require significant bandwidth for transmitting and accessing across the Internet or other networks, and storage capacity for archiving. With Master Archive Medical Edition Server, Impact will make it easier and more cost-effective for radiology facilities and other health care organisations to store and transmit large numbers of DICOM medical images so they can be accessed faster for review by referring or remote clinicians.

Master Archive Medical Edition is a Microsoft Windows-based image compression and encryption application that provides rates of compression and image fidelity and resolution exceeding market standards. By combining encryption with compression, files processed by Master Archive Medical Edition require far less storage capacity than original files and can be shared securely across the Internet, even over low-bandwidth dial-up and wireless networks.

"I am impressed by the resolution and fidelity of images compressed by Master Archive Medical Edition", stated Dr. Doreen DiPasquale, assistant professor, George Washington University, and senior orthopaedic attending surgeon, Washington Hospital Center. "After image files are compressed for transmission across dial-up networks, they retain the contrast and grey scale of originals, making them ideal for review from virtually any convenient location."

Master Archive Medical Edition is compliant with the worldwide DICOM 3.0 standard and supports over 480 file formats adopted by major vendors of stand-alone digital radiology systems and picture archiving and communication systems (PACS). The application will work with still- and multi-frame medical images generated by any compliant modality such as X-ray, CT scan, etc., as well as digital files generated when film-based images are scanned.

Once compressed by Master Archive 3.5, image files will be stored in Impact Labs' Impact Compressed File (ICF) format, which can only be read and viewed using the Master Archive Viewer, which will be freely distributed. The Viewer software is designed for easy installation on Windows PCs, laptops or tablet PCs in any location where clinicians may need to review images, eliminating the need for specialised PACS workstations.

"We look forward to the June release of Master Archive Medical Edition so that we can evaluate how it will enhance our ability to transmit high-resolution images within our telemedicine network of remote community hospitals and clinics in the Commonwealth of Virginia", stated Karen S. Rheuban, M.D., medical director, Office of Telemedicine, University of Virginia Health System. "In addition to addressing bandwidth constraints, Master Archive Medical Edition's encryption with password protection will help us ensure the confidentiality of files transmitted over public networks."

Master Archive Medical Edition 3.5 will offer customers encryption capabilities that help address information privacy considerations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Image access will be limited to authorised users, protecting DICOM data from loss, theft, cyber attack, or other subversive activities.

Once processed by Master Archive Medical Edition, DICOM images can be embedded within electronic patient records, e-mailed to authorised physicians, or made available through a virtual private network (VPN). Double-clicking on the ICF file opens the Master Archive Viewer, which provides the image processing, magnification, and manipulation tools typically used for DICOM image review.

"With Master Archive Medical Edition, health care organisations can speed the delivery of care and lower costs associated with image storage and transmission", stated Mark Haigh, vice president and chief operating officer, Impact Labs. "By making diagnostic-quality images available over low-bandwidth networks, Master Archive offers radiology facilities a mechanism for enhancing their service to and communication with referring physicians, providing a competitive advantage and means to further improve the delivery of care."

Master Archive Medical Edition is available through authorised Impact resellers. To meet the needs of the widest possible cross-section of health care providers, the application is sold along with "Compression Packs" that enable a specific volume of compressions, ranging from 10 GB to one TB. The starter package, sold with a 10 GB Compression Pack, will retail for approximately $5200.

Impact Labs Inc. develops advanced compression and encryption software helping organisations gain competitive advantage by improving productivity and dramatically reducing costs associated with storing, distributing, viewing, and securing digital information. The company's innovative products deliver immediate return on investment by optimising network storage requirements and bandwidth utilisation while protecting valuable data through enhanced security.

Formed in 1996, Impact Labs is a private company serving customers from diverse industries including defence, health care, media, financial services and education. Impact's products are distributed via value-added partnerships with companies such as AOS, BestSolutions, Diversified Marketing Consultants, Galaxy Scientific, Morningstar Systems, Tensor Data, and Digital River.


Leslie Versweyveld

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