For some reason, Merge takes its time in posting its own press releases on its own site. Global News Wire has this October 6 release
Merge Healthcare (Nasdaq: MRGE ), a leading provider of enterprise imaging and interoperability solutions, announced today that it has selected Dell as a preferred provider of cloud computing services, storage and enterprise hardware products to simplify information access, management and archiving among its portfolio of image interoperability solutions.Anyway, why again do we want this?
With Merge Honeycomb You Can:Hmmmm...sounds a lot like the mission statement for LifeImage
lifeIMAGE enables the secure and on-demand exchange of medical imaging information from anywhere and with anyone. We provide a multi-purpose, SaaS platform to healthcare institutions, physicians, and patients to exchange information directly or integrate the information with their EHR or PHR systems. Our goal is to eliminate the need for duplicate imaging exams and avoid unnecessary radiation.Their solution is not free, but I have this sneaking suspicion that Merge Honeycomb, while a stand-alone module, will be far more useful and usable in the context of iConnect, and in the end won't be quite free either.
Having no hands-on experience with the new Honeycomb, I can't begin to tell you which is better, and no doubt both Merge and LifeImage will prosper with these approaches. To me, Dr. Dalai, Average Radiologist Extraordinaire, the key will be transparency. In other words, the system that gets the foreign images into MY PACS most easily wins.
Honeycomb? The folks of my generation might think of the cereal first
The younger, more tech-savvy set might associate the term with the latest flavor of the Android OS.
I've never understood much about marketing or name-selection.
Oh, by the way, at the bottom of the press release, in the fine print, we see this disclaimer
Merge Honeycomb as described herein is a works-in-progress. Merge Healthcare is not legally obligated to develop or continue to develop such works-in-progress that may include the features and functionality described herein.Perhaps that's standard boilerplate language, but it seems a bit strange in a big announcement such as this. Oh well, never hurts to cover one's bases, eh?
Hat-tip to Mike Cannavo, the Once and Former PACSMan, since I don't seem to be on Merge's e-mail list these days.
Fellow blogger PACSMatt (Matt Granger) attended the Merge Live! event, and adds much to our knowledge of Honeycomb
I had a chance to demo the Honeycomb product directly and I am impressed. The feature set is right on for this initial product release. It has a social network "LinkedIn" feel to it and users are able to self register to create an account. A URL auth process follows and then you can access your free account. Although not verified, initial screenshots seem to show that "free" accounts can upload up to 10 GB of imaging data. Once logged in the user is presented with a log view screen of activity that has occurred with any images they have shared to other users. You can invite other users via e-mail to join Honeycomb or search for existing users. The search screen segments the search results between users you know (similar to 'friended') and global users accounts you haven't shown any relationship to (yet).
Uploading files is very easy as long as you have physical access to the DICOM files themselves. Once uploaded you can share the files to one or more users in your group. The sharing process has granular controls that allow you to decide how long the share is active for and whether or not the 'shared' users is allowed to download those files as DICOM objects or not. Either way the user can view the images through Honeycomb:
Did I mention that this is free? Are you considering any other image sharing services right now? Don't. This is free and it rocks. Just go to and sign up to be notified when the services launches next month. Here's a direct link to more details.
More information about the future phases of Merge Honeycomb came out today, too, as the implementation phases were shown at the "Merge Live!" event. Below is a screenshot from their presentation. Phase one and live usage will be in place by RSNA this year. Phases 2 & 3 relate to a tighter integration of Honeycomb to their iConnect Access platform.
Many thanks for the info, Matt!!!!
I received a comment as well from an anonymous reader (no one wants to admit reading my stuff, it seems)
What I'm curious about, is that lifeIMAGE already announced a similar offering to the American Society of Echocardiography (free), with plans to expand it to all? Not sure.I'm not sure, either. I'll post what information I find on this. Sounds like LifeImage may have something up their collective sleeves...