DICOM Grid gets $6M from Mayo, others

Blue chip providers bet big on cloud-based image sharing
By Mike Miliard
10:35 AM

Investors such as Mayo Clinic, Rush University Medical Center and more are backing DICOM Grid, which develops a cloud-based platform for medical image management.

[See also: Mayo Clinic, DICOM Grid collaborate on mobile imaging]

Thanks to $6 million in funding backed by Canaan Partners, CHL Medical Partners and others, DICOM Grid will expand its development of imaging exchange technology and seek out more integration opportunities with EHR and RIS providers.

Founded in 2006, the company manages some 1.2 billion images via HIPAA-compliant technology that enables CD ingestion, patient transfers, remote reads and disaster recovery.

[See also: Houston HIE to connect 130 hospitals via 'network of networks']

With imaging a huge driver of healthcare costs, finding less expensive ways to securely move and manage X-rays and MRIs is imperative for many healthcare organizations.

DICOM Grid cites some estimates that peg imaging as responsible for between 7.5 and 10 percent of total healthcare expenditures – $100 billion per year – even as 10 percent of these imaging exams are duplicative or unnecessary.

Organizations that rely on the company's DG Suite include Mayo Clinic -- whose investment is reported to be $750,000 -- Rush University Medical Center, Baptist Health South Florida, Memorial Hermann Health System, Frederick Memorial Hospital and several clinical trial research organizations.

Meanwhile, Greater Houston Healthconnect, one of the largest health information exchanges in the U.S., is collaborating with DICOM Grid to develop access to diagnostic imaging across 20 counties in Southeast Texas.

"DICOM Grid's technology is being made available to 15,000 physicians and 130 hospitals in the region, to deliver immediate access to imaging at the point of care, says Phil Beckett, Healthconnect¹s acting CEO and chief technology officer, in a press statement.

"Being able to electronically retrieve prior imaging will mean providers can make more informed treatment decisions and help to eliminate unnecessary duplicative tests, which are often not reimbursable," he added. We believe this will save dollars and reduce radiation exposure for patients."

With cloud so common in other industries, it's still not entirely trusted in healthcare. Big investments by providers such as Mayo and Rush certainly signals a growing acceptance.

"Leading healthcare institutions in the U.S. are adopting our technology to improve the lives of patients," said Morris Panner, CEO of DICOM Grid, in a press statement. "There is a huge demand for an easy workflow that moves imaging data between locations and across disparate systems, all under HIPAA compliance. DG Suite eliminates traditional costs and hassles associated with moving data, which translates to a smoother experience for the patient."