Telstra sponsors Zed Tech to put film in a bag

Melbourne-based radiology start-up Zed Technologies will use the resources provided by Telstra's muru-D start-up accelerator program to develop My Film Bag, a new technology that will allow patients to easily access all of their radiology images when they are on the go.

Zed Technologies is one of 10 start-ups chosen for the first round of Telstra's muru-D program, a six-month accelerator that will provide ongoing business support and mentoring, as well as a $40,000 investment in return for a six per cent stake.

Zed Technologies already has some runs on the board, having developed the Zed Link DICOM viewer that is used at several large radiology practices as well as Royal Melbourne Hospital and Western Health to allow access to images and reports from any computer.

Zed Link is also used to deliver images to external referrers, and to extract scanned documents from RIS systems and insert them into PACS.

The company also has a collaboration with MediNexus's messaging solution for radiology and pathology reports and images. The Zed Link viewer is embedded with the Medinexus application to allow GPs and specialists to view DICOM images from within their desktop software or from an iPad or mobile phone through the Zed Link Mobile app.

Medinexus works with HealthLink, Medical-Objects and Argus so GPs don't need to use a different messaging provider and is integrated into Best Practice and Medical Director.

Founded by Ross Wright and Ronald Li, Zed Technologies is now looking to develop a patient-centric viewer called My Film Bag. The duo previously worked together at teleradiology company Imaging Partners Online, and having developed the Zed Link application, the consumer market was the next step.

“What seemed to us was an obvious next step was to offer image access to patients rather than walking out with a great big pile of film under their arm,” Mr Wright said.

He believes there are two main reasons why consumers would want access to their medical images.

“On one side there is the curiosity factor, with people wanting to have a look at what they have just paid $300 for,” he said.

“But I think more importantly, patients are mobile these days. There are athletes and people with ongoing illnesses. My Film Bag will enable them to quickly access the images anywhere any time, while they are travelling for instance, and to share them with specialists and get second opinions. It is just putting the patient more in the driver's seat.”

Mr Wright said that while patients are given films or more commonly a CD, they are still physical media and require person to person contact. Referring doctors themselves dislike CDs as they take time to load up.

“This will mean that you can share it with someone on the other side of the world."

He said that with Zed Technologies' previous experience integrating PACS system like Agfa, Carestream, GE and Intelerad, he and Mr Li are confident they can bolt on to any PACS system on the market.

“For us the biggest hurdle is getting the provider to say yes, but the technical aspect is not difficult,” he said.

The company aims to market My Film Bag to radiology practices with the hope they will in turn market it to patients.

The six-month workshop at muru-D will provide access to experts in technology start-ups who will advise on pricing and marketing strategies, but also to Telstra's international markets that small start-ups wouldn't otherwise have access to, Mr Wright said.

There are some other emerging products on the international market, he said, but most are vendor or provider-centric, whereas My Film Bag will be patient-centric.

“Our is a patient-centric model, which means that the patient can have one film bag for all of their examinations.”

Linking to the PCEHR is also of interest. “As you are probably aware, that is a big bureaucratic process and they probably will take two or three years to come up with a standard. We figure that when that time comes and the standard is there, we will build the tools to backwardly integrate with it.”

Posted in Australian eHealth

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