Carestream Health has debuted its newest version of Kodak Carestream Information Management Solutions (IMS) that offers health care providers more convenient viewing of medical imaging exams and other types of patient documents, while facilitating the integration of images with electronic medical record (EMR) systems.The firm said that these capabilities would be available worldwide in the second quarter of 2008. At the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) in Florida last week, the company also highlighted enhancements to its eHealth Managed Services, which provides the ability to create remotely-hosted networks to share patient data among affiliated health care providers. “The Carestream IMS platform is already able to manage and store a wide variety of imaging studies and fixed-content patient files through a centralised database registry and repository. What we are adding is the ability to provide flexible viewing and display of these diverse file types side-by-side with DICOM image data,” said Michael W Jackman, President, Healthcare Information Solutions, Carestream Health. “In addition, our solution can help image-enable EMRs, since these systems are usually limited to transactional data and do not offer access to imaging applications.” The newest IMS upgrade equips clinicians to view laboratory and pathology reports, imaging exams, video files, DICOM images and other types of patient data through one virtual desktop anywhere, anytime. Standards such as XDS (cross enterprise document sharing) protocol may be used to store and retrieve the fixed-content file types, and HL7 is used to receive and store reports together with clinical patient data and other documents from clinical information systems. Simplified access to patient information enhances the diagnostic process and simultaneously delivers improved staff and clinician productivity by negating the need to go to several locations to obtain information. Access is tightly controlled by system administrators: physicians and staff may be granted either read-only or read/write privileges, and access can be further limited to individual patient files or specific exam modalities. The company also introduced expanded features for eHealth Managed Services, which provides long-term archiving, multi-site workflow and information distribution for a per-gigabyte fee based on the type of service provided. Basic archiving services include remote data storage for long-term storage and disaster recovery. The platform also offers multi-site networking capabilities that allow information communication and sharing among affiliated groups, such as hospitals and clinics, or groups of imaging centres. Centralised radiologists, for example, can use this service to read exams from multiple facilities, eliminating the need to courier imaging studies on CDs or DVDs. Access is established through a VPN portal and continuous monitoring ensures that only authorised users are accessing information. This service is now available worldwide. From this month health care facilities also will be able to use eHealth Managed Services to provide remotely-hosted, web-based image access to referring physicians, surgeons and other users. This service will act as an Intranet and will handle a variety of functions including adding non-DICOM files, routing DICOM studies to desired destinations and providing broad-searching capabilities.