Intelerad Medical Systems has acquired Life Image, creating the world’s largest image exchange network.
The combined entity manages over 80 billion images globally, giving it more than 60% of the marketplace, and allows providers to share digital scans with patients from any device 24/7, regardless of where they or the patient may be. The two together also serve some of the largest medical institutions as a result of the deal, including Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Intelerad and Life Image hope that their network will eventually eliminate costly CDs as the primary means for transferring images. "Our goal in bringing these companies together is to replatform the way image exchange is done today. Our company's heritage has been in open platforms. We have been advocating inter-vendor exchange and now are in a strong position to move forward with that vision," Intelerad CEO Mike Lipps told HCB News.
CDs make image viewing a difficult and time-consuming process for both patients and providers. They also can be costly, with some healthcare systems paying as much as $100,000 a year to purchase, burn and deliver CDs to share images.
Making image sharing more seamless will reduce administrative time and burnout rates, ensure fewer processing errors and decrease redundant imaging exams, say both companies. The 21st Century Cures Act is designed to accelerate medical product development, and a key component of this is interoperability among medical records. Radiology leaders and industry stakeholders have long called for creating a framework for seamless electronic image transfer.
"Our next step is to continue laying the groundwork for the elimination of costly CDs as the primary means of image transfer as we support the movement to #ditchthedisk," said Lipps.
While Intelerad did not disclose specific details on the transaction, it said that its overall commitment to image exchange is now close to roughly $500 million.
“Patients and physicians alike need an easy way to share images, and this is an important first step toward enabling vendors to work together as they should,” said Dr. Geraldine McGinty, past president of the American College of Radiology, in a statement about the acquisition.
The deal follows Intelerad’s acquisition of Ambra Health
, a developer of cloud-based medical image management software, last year for $1.7 billion. Ambra’s cloud-based platform allows radiologists and other providers to share and view images in real time without a VPN or CD. Its Cloud VNA is designed to store DICOM and non-DICOM images side-by-side to give readers a holistic view of all patient imaging.