SOURCE: Hx Technologies Inc (HxTI)

November 06, 2007 08:31 ET

Hx Technologies Releases Free Open-Source Platform for Medical Imaging Distribution and Visualization

FDA-Cleared Xebra™ Software Aims to Go Where Closed, Proprietary Systems Can't in Image-Enabling Any Healthcare IT Application

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - November 6, 2007) - Today Hx Technologies Inc (HxTI) announced the public availability and free open source licensing of the Xebra™ platform for web-based distribution and clinical review of medical imaging.

The software provides healthcare organizations and software developers with all the necessary components to securely transmit and review medical images over a network such as the Internet. Unlike its closed and proprietary predecessors locked to a single vendor, Xebra is intended to work alongside any picture archiving and communication system (PACS) and to provide advanced imaging capabilities to a wide range of healthcare IT applications. Written in Java, the software is designed to run on any operating system with an ultra-thin client that can be launched over the Web without any installation required by the end user.

In addition to image navigation and manipulation tools, the initial release of Xebra introduces features not generally available in web viewers offered with current PACS solutions. Xebra provides interoperability based on the latest industry standards such as JPEG2000 and WADO and contains advanced encryption and network security features especially well suited for health information exchanges (HIEs), regional health information organizations (RHIOs), longitudinal electronic health records (EHRs) and personal health records (PHRs) accessed over the Web.

"Xebra was born of the restrictions and closed nature of current imaging distribution software which have combined to drive commoditization and complacency while erecting barriers to innovation," said Dr. Elliot Menschik, HxTI President and COO. "This situation is not unlike what was seen in the broader IT industry when a single proprietary web browser dominated. Just as it took the upstart open source Firefox to breath new life into browsers, we see the public release and free licensing of Xebra as the start of an effort to reintroduce innovation into the imaging side of the healthcare IT industry. The openness and availability of this platform enables vendors, providers, and payers, among others, to speed to market with the imaging-enabled solutions that their customers demand while ensuring levels of performance and information security that can only come from the collaborative environment of the open source community."

Among some of the potential applications of Xebra are embedding medical imaging visualization into regional and national health information exchanges, personal health records, disease management programs, care management programs, clinical trials, medical education, and the emerging healthcare IT infrastructures of developing nations. As an open source project with a modular architecture, HxTI plans to foster and support a community of developers to contribute plug-ins and feature enhancements that will see Xebra surpass the functionality of the now-dominant and high-cost proprietary solutions. Xebra has already received FDA 510(k) clearance, and future releases based on ongoing company and public contributions are expected to maintain that status.

In extensive testing with dozens of other vendors, HxTI has proven Xebra to comply with the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) Cross-enterprise Document Sharing for Imaging (XDS-I) specification. In production use in the Philadelphia Health Information Exchange (PHIE), Xebra is believed to be the first XDS-I compliant software to reach the US marketplace. This compliance ensures that Xebra users can take advantage of the cross-enterprise interoperability standard established by the Health Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) for use in the US Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) as well as by numerous other national initiatives including those of Canada, France and Austria.

Xebra will be on display at this year's annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (November 25-30, Chicago, IL) where attendees will have an opportunity to meet the development team and take it for a test drive during the live demonstration of the Philadelphia Health Information Exchange and the multi-vendor IHE image sharing demonstration, both located in RSNA's Lakeside Learning Center. Additional detail on Xebra's design and implementation will be presented in educational exhibit 5228, entitled "Cross-enterprise Review of Diagnostic Imaging Results Optimized for Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) with a Lightweight, Open Source, Cross-platform, IHE XDS-I Compliant Java Web Start Application."

The Xebra project can be found at http://sourceforge.net/projects/xebra

About Hx Technologies Inc (www.hxti.com)

Hx Technologies (HxTI) is a technology-enabled healthcare services company that works with payers and providers to improve clinical outcomes, enhance the quality of care, and better manage the cost of diagnostic services. We accomplish these goals by delivering clinical data to care providers where and when it's needed most. With the support of the National Institutes of Health, the company has pioneered the building of health information exchanges that enable patients' medical information to follow them privately and seamlessly wherever they receive care. HxTI launched and operates the Philadelphia Health Information Exchange which has been recognized as one of few functioning regional health information exchanges in the United States.