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Published August 22, 2000
Volume 8, Number 8



ComView's Technology Brings Flexibility, Communication to Cardiologists
 
ComView
A screen shot of ComView's ViewStar 1024 shows a full-motion image of a cardiac diagnostic procedure known as a cath angio .


By Jay Hipps
Network Editor



When time can make the difference in the health of a patient, it's good to have the latest technology at hand. ComView Corporation, whose Hacienda headquarters are located at 5870 Stoneridge Drive, is providing that benefit to cardiologists nationwide with their specialized products which enable the sharing and storage of critical test results and other patient information. 

"I think it really boils down to four words: collaboration, communication, intervention, and education," says Mark Strem, ComView COO. "We have a hardware component that networks in the hospital that allows them to do these things and now we have an Internet portion that allows them to do that outside the facility." 

More specifically, ComView provides both hardware and software which enables cardiologists to use digital technology to capture and share the results of tests which have traditionally been captured on film. An example is a "cath angio," where a catheter is fed into the body and releases a dye that makes visible the vessels in the heart when viewed with certain equipment. 

The test shows the progress of the dye in full motion as it travels through the arteries in the heart. There are some inherent inefficiencies to capturing this information on film, however. Using film creates both additional costs and time delays for developing. Plus, having just one record of the test means that it is difficult for physicians to collaborate on a case either they must travel to the film or the film must be sent to them. 

ComView's technology changes all that. 

"We're able to expedite that process with what is essentially the ability to conduct a real-time broadcast of those images through a network system installed in the hospital," says Strem. "This allows a consulting physician to simply look at the review station and see the same image as the cardiologist who's performing the procedure. So we have multiple units networked throughout the hospital, wherever physicians deem it appropriate to have these Viewing Stations." 

In addition to the equipment that's used to view and broadcast the information, ComView provides a means of storing the tests on both a server, for short term retrieval, and on CD or other permanent media, for archival purposes. 

ComView's latest innovation utilizes the Internet to transmit the images. 

"The online component allows physicians to view cases over the Internet and to send and receive cases to each other for collaboration and decision making," says Strem. 

This technology, which they refer to as e-TeleCardiology, has been well received and touts registered users from institutions such as Cedars-Sinai, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and the Mayo Clinic. 

The company's next step will be an expansion of their product line. 

"We hope to continue our advancement in the cardio-vascular world to include ultrasound, which shows the motion of both the chambers and valves of the heart as the blood flows through them," says Strem. "Eventually, it's our vision to branch out of cardiology as well, to use our technology in other areas."
 
 



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