DPR’s CaseReader Poised to Break New Ground in Diagnostic Radiology

The workload of radiologists is poised to triple in the next five years due to a number of factors:  healthcare reform, which will add an estimated 30 million patients to the U.S. healthcare system; an aging U.S. baby boomer population; advances in technology that result in hundreds or even thousands of image slices per diagnostic scan, and a shortage of radiologists. At the same time, current methods for interpreting 2D multiplanar images, typically based on a slice-by-slice X-Ray type of viewing approach, are creating serious medical errors—many of which can be life-threatening. Finally, reimbursement is eroding at a rate between 4 to 8 percent per year.

DataPhysics Research (DPR) of Danville, CA, has developed a turnkey software solution to improve the quality of image-based diagnostics and ease the workload of radiologists. “CaseReader™ is the much-needed software solution that integrates data from diverse multiple sources and provides better patient information at the point of care. This speeds up radiological reporting while lowering errors and cost,” says Dr. Martin Lipton, M.D., chief medical officer at DPR. CaseReader™ is designed to improve workflow by automating key steps that are currently performed manually. The system uses algorithms to create a uniquely indexed 3-D volumetric image of the organ or region of interest, providing radiologists with advanced analysis capabilities. CaseReader™ can also generate an automated, customizable diagnostic report, eliminating the need for a medical transcriptionist to type up the radiologist’s dictation and allowing patients to receive reports much more quickly. According to Steve Douglas, CEO of DPR, CaseReader™ could reduce the time it takes to complete an exam by 40 percent. DPR’s research indicates that other companies are looking at solutions to ease radiologists’ workload, but they focus on improving some of the individual steps of the process unlike DPR which improves a better workflow integrated solution.

DPR’s goal was to create a product that will easily integrate into today’s radiologists’ workflow. “There is virtually no learning curve with our technology because it doesn’t add steps to the process and utilizes existing hardware and IT infrastructure; it automatically does what doctors want to do but have no time to do,” says Dr. Vishwas Abhyankar, PhD, head of product development at DPR.

According to industry and U.S. government reports, the healthcare imaging market in the US alone is $250 billion. The medical transcription market is $8 billion dollars. The potential global market for CaseReader™ is $3 billion (the number of annual relevant exams multiplied by DPR’s per-exam processing fee). “DPR will enter the diagnostic radiology market with strong, defensible technology. CaseReader’s™ groundbreaking ability to electronically map, encode and orchestrate binary image data enables radiologists to more fully utilize advanced digital imaging capabilities. This core technology automates current manual key tasks within today’s image review and reporting workflow process, which provides superior patient information at the radiologists’ point of need,” says Steve Douglas, Chief Executive Officer of DPR. He adds, “CaseReader’s™ turnkey approach will dramatically improve patient care, reduce errors and lower exam costs. Partnering with industry leaders will also provide effective barriers to entry to future competitors.”

The company has developed a prototype that’s been generating excitement among radiologists and referring physicians. DPR will launch its product at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Conference in December 2010. CaseReader was selected by an RSNA Committee to be spotlighted as one of the new pioneering technologies to over 60,000 meeting participants.

“With a first-to-market opportunity, DPR is working closely with two large development partners to test and validate our software for commercial release in Q1 2011,” says Jim Plewa, COO at DPR. The company plans to foster development partnerships with teleradiology and independent imaging center leaders, which handle a very large volume of X-rays and have the potential to generate significant revenue for DPR. Additionally, DPR has seen material interest from academic centers and potential hardware channel sales partners. DPR has raised $1.2 million in angel investments to date.

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