ImageMoverMD Introduces Tools to Help Hospitals Load Medical Images
After patients undergo magnetic resonance imaging procedures, they are sometimes referred to a specialist at a different hospital, and given CDs with files showing the results of their scans.
But often times at the follow-up appointment, a physician who is handed a disc is left thinking, “What do I do with this?” says Gary Wendt. He’s a radiologist at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, aka UW Health, as well as the co-founder and president of Middleton, WI-based ImageMoverMD. The startup has developed software applications that allow clinicians and patients to transmit pictures taken with mobile devices in a way that’s secure and does not violate patient privacy laws.
Earlier this week, the company announced that it has also created Web-based software that hospital staff can use to move images from CDs and DVDs onto the systems their organizations use to archive images.
Wendt says that at UW Health, clinicians can currently route discs containing medical images to a designated file room, and workers there will import the images. But with his company’s new software, which it calls ImageMover Media, it’s possible to upload images from CDs, DVDs, and other solid-state storage devices from any Internet-connected computer.
K. Thomas Pickard, CEO of ImageMoverMD, says that at many hospitals, employees tasked with importing images from CDs can only do so using dedicated computers equipped with “thick-client” software. That term refers to programs that must be installed on a computer, or that run on a separate server, as opposed to Web-based applications like ImageMover Media.
Healthcare providers that currently use ImageMover Mobile, the software for transmitting photos and videos captured using smartphones and tablets, can start using the new image-importing tools right away, but must pay an additional fee, Pickard says. Hospitals that have not installed any of the startup’s software can purchase ImageMover Media à la carte, or bundle it with the mobile product, he adds.
The new software makes it possible to import images stored in a format that most hospitals consider the standard for medical images, as well as files in other formats.
“We made it as easy to import your X-rays as it is to import, for example, the PDF that has the report that goes along with your X-ray,” Pickard says.
ImageMoverMD, which was originally called WITS(MD), was launched in 2013 by Wendt and another UW Health radiologist, Richard Bruce. Both continue to be involved with the startup on a part-time basis, Wendt says. Pickard came on board in 2015, the same year the company raised $1.6 million from investors. It currently has three customers, Pickard says: UW Health, the Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, WI, and a third organization he declined to name.
ImageMoverMD’s mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android devices, is not the only one of its kind. CaptureProof and Clinicam are among the apps that allow patients to send images and videos to their physicians, who can then merge the files into the patient’s electronic health record (EHR). However, Pickard says that ImageMover is the only app he knows of that can quickly send the images to a hospital’s picture archiving and communication system.
“Our secret sauce continues to be the tight integration of medical images with the EHR and the PACS,” he says.
Asked whether one of the large companies that sells software for managing patient records, such as Kansas City, MO-based Cerner (NASDAQ: CERN) or Epic Systems—based just south of ImageMoverMD in Verona, WI—might themselves create applications similar to his company’s, Pickard says he believes it’s unlikely.
“What we’ve learned is that EHR vendors have in many cases attempted to work in medical imaging, and have shied away from it after trying,” he says. Two reasons for this are that data sets are large, and businesses must obtain FDA regulatory clearance on certain types of medical imaging software before they can sell it, he says.
“We traditionally have not seen moves from EHR vendors into the medical imaging space,” Pickard says. “It’s a large enough discipline that it’s standalone. There’s a place for companies like ours in the world of EHRs.”