Published July 16, 2013
Volume 21, Number 7

PACSGEAR Integrates Video into Electronic Health Records  

Eli Rapaich, CEO of PACSGEAR, sees potential in the use of video
in healthcare records.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

The latest medical imaging tool has a surprisingly familiar face: video.

“Video is rarely used in healthcare today, but it will be a big additional source for medical information in the future,” reports Eli Rapaich, CEO of Hacienda-based PACSGEAR, which provides ancillary solutions that improve the use and utilization of PACS, or Picture Archive and Communication Systems, the medical technology that retrieves, stores, and transmits the data from imaging modalities such as x-ray and ultrasound.

The company’s products are not PACS themselves, but rather secondary connectivity solutions that “fill the gaps and holes”typical in such large systems—in this case, relating to the attachment of images and information to the electronic health record, Rapaich explains. 

In the last few years PACSGEAR has expanded its capabilities throughout the hospital to include video, with very promising diagnostic and treatment implications. For example, video gives physicians the ability to record gait studies of patients before and after orthopedic surgery, to better evaluate results. It also comes into play in aging-related diagnoses, like Alzheimer’s, where successive videos of a patient can document the progression of the disease over time, leading to a better understanding of the condition.

With a 45-second video clip of the patient replacing an hour of standardized tests, these new applications can save medical professionals a tremendous amount of time—while providing the same amount of information. “We can make it very inexpensive to capture, store, retrieve, and view that information. This will be an extremely important and well-utilized tool in the future,” Rapaich notes.

In May PACSGEAR rolled out another new tool, ModLink, a software solution that automatically transfers predefined measurements from imaging exams like ultrasound directly into a reporting system, saving valuable radiologist dictation time and reducing potential human error. So far ModLink has been installed at five customer sites, and the response has been extremely favorable.

“I actually had a phone call from a radiologist telling me that ModLink is saving him at least an hour a day, while improving his accuracy and quality of life,” relates Rapaich. “He can now spend more time interrogating images for information. I’ve been in this business for 25 years. You don’t receive many unsolicited calls from radiologists praising your efforts.”

These types of innovations are the result of an unusually broad knowledge base that allows PACSGEAR to connect the dots between various technologies, like ultrasound and voice recognition. Other companies typically do not have the extensive expertise to recognize the less visible but important opportunities for connectivity in the marketplace. “Customers often compare us to a Swiss Army knife. They come to us when they need something no one else can do,” Rapaich comments.

The opportunities have proven productive. Celebrating its 11th anniversary, the self-funded PACSGEAR has been profitable almost from day one. It has built its customer base to 3,500 medical institutions around the world. After several years in downtown Pleasanton, in January 2011 the company moved into Hacienda, where most of its development work is now taking place. The “keys to success” have been frugality and the judicious hiring of “only the best” candidates, Rapaich says.

For more information, visit www.pacsgear.com.

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