CHICAGO, April 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merge Healthcare Incorporated (Nasdaq:MRGE), a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, today announced that it will be releasing iConnect® Retinal Screening, an, end-to-end retinal screening solution, allowing providers to quickly identify and diagnose patients with diabetic retinal disease. Leveraging Merge's cloud infrastructure, iConnect® Cloud Archive, and Merge Eye Care PACS™, the interoperable, subscription-based service streamlines operational workflow, reduces financial costs and enables of the improvement of clinical care quality.
"Diabetes affects more than 347 million people globally, and it's estimated that one out of every five U.S. healthcare dollars is spent on this disease," said Steven Tolle, Chief Strategy Officer at Merge Healthcare. "By creating a solution that addresses both patient and provider knowledge gaps, we're helping providers more easily diagnose and treat not only diabetes, but retinal disease as a whole. Patients, in turn, are empowered with faster treatment plans which can reduce the risk of negative side effects."
The newest offering to be added to the Merge Interoperability Solution suite, iConnect Retinal Screening enables providers to efficiently capture retinal images through an automated camera, reducing the need for staff to receive specialty training. Images are transferred via the cloud to a reading center where trained technicians and pathologists bear the responsibility of identifying, diagnosing and delivering results. The results are then transmitted electronically, via Merge's iConnect Network, to the provider's electronic health record (EHR) system to allow for timely, customized care plans. The first phase of the solution will offer Diabetic Retinopathy Screening to address the increasingly common complication of diabetes and one of the leading causes of visual impairment and blindness among working-aged adults in the U.S, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We saw a clear need in the industry for a solution that solves a large population health problem especially within accountable care organizations. By leveraging our existing cloud technology, Merge customers will be able to enhance care for the large number of diabetic patients in our nation," added Justin Dearborn, CEO of Merge Healthcare. "Our deep expertise with other specialty screenings, such as mammography, cervical and cardiology, positions us well to help in the eye care market. This new, end-to-end solution will be a win-win for patients and providers, enabling a detrimental disease to be diagnosed and treated earlier having the additional benefit of reducing short- and long-term healthcare costs."
iConnect Retinal Screening is currently undergoing a pilot program launch and is scheduled for availability by the end of Q2. Future stages of the solution will include screenings for glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and other serious neurological disease.
Merge is a leading provider of innovative enterprise imaging, interoperability and clinical systems that seek to advance healthcare. Merge's enterprise and cloud-based technologies for image intensive specialties provide access to any image, anywhere, any time. Merge also provides clinical trials software with end-to-end study support in a single platform and other intelligent health data and analytics solutions. With solutions that have been used by providers for more than 25 years, Merge is helping to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and enhance the quality of healthcare worldwide. For more information, visit merge.com and follow us @MergeHealthcare.
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