Nuance Acquires Image Exchange Vendor Accelarad

2014-04-17_16-51-35

Speech recognition vendor Nuance formally announces its acquisition of cloud-based image exchange vendor Accelarad, following several days of speculation that Nuance would enter the image exchange market with an acquisition. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The acquisition has been in the works for a while, because in line with the acquisition announcement Nuance reported that its new image exchange network, renamed the Nuance PowerShare Network, would be immediately available for licensing. The network is web-enabled platform that allows clinicians to connect with one another and share reports and images across a secure web connection in a similar workflow to how information is shared on social networks. 

The company has integrated its own Radiology PowerScribe solution, used to digitally transcribe imaging reports, and connected it with Accelarad’s image sharing network so that its current PowerScribe customers can immediately begin to use PowerShare too bundle and transmit transcribed reports and accompanying images. Inversely, existing Accelarad customers can license PowerScribe and accomplish the same. The functionality has also been developed to integrate with all of the existing EHR partners that currently support Nuance voice dictation, so clinicians will not need to manage multiple applications or workflows to coordinate care across facilities.

The partnership opens up a broad market of potential cross-selling within the new combined customer base. With the acquisition, Nuance gains access the 1,900 existing customers that were already using Accelarad’s image sharing tools. The decision to move away from its core business of developing voice recognition technology may well have come at the insistence of two of its shareholders, led by recently appointed board members representing active investor Carl Icahn, who now holds a 16.9 percent stake in the company.

“The challenge of sharing images with interpretive reports is something we’ve heard about consistently from our customers and EHR partners, and we know Nuance PowerShare Network will overcome this major obstacle, helping physicians treat patients more efficiently and effectively. This nationwide network, one that is fully integrated into the EHR workflow and already connected to approximately half of all clinicians producing diagnostic imaging information, is a ground-breaking solution that delivers immediate benefits at an unprecedented scale to our healthcare system.” – Peter Durlach, senior vice president of marketing and strategy, Nuance Communications.

According to the announcement, the integrated network has already been piloted within two undisclosed health systems sites, one in Boston and one in North Carolina.


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