Lexmark Buys Acuo to Expand Vendor-Neutral Medical Image, EHR Platform

Lexmark has acquired Acuo Technologies, so that it can offer a single, vendor-neutral archive for medical documents and images.

Lexmark International continues its series of acquisitions tied to the health care space by purchasing Acuo Technologies, a medical image archive company.

Acuo offers a Universal Clinical Platform that provides vendor-neutral access to medical image archives. A vendor-neutral archive can consolidate images from multiple vendors' platforms.

The Universal Clinical Platform allows doctors to capture and control images conforming to the Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine (DICOM) standard as well as non-DICOM content.

Announced Jan. 2, the deal will allow Lexmark to offer a single, enterprisewide and content-based software platform that doctors can access from any EHR application. The database will allow doctors to manage multiple types of medical content.

The ability to access multiple imaging and health record systems could reduce medical risks, according to Lexmark.

Lexmark paid approximately $45 million in a cash purchase for Acuo.

Acuo will become a unit of Perceptive Software, which Lexmark purchased in 2010 as part of its strategy to move into the enterprise content management market.

Lexmark has completed a series of corporate acquisitions so the company can expand beyond its core printer and scanner business to offer software platforms in verticals such as health care, education, financial services, government and retail.

"The four acquisitions we've completed in 2012 showcase Lexmark's transition to being a key solutions provider to enterprise-sized businesses and organizations across the globe," Paul Rooke, Lexmark's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

In October 2011 Lexmark acquired Pallas Athena, a company that developed software to manage content throughout a hospital's workflow. In addition, Lexmark bought Brainware, an intelligent data capture and enterprise search company, in March 2012. Brainware's Distiller platform, now called Perceptive Intelligent Capture, allows health care professionals to extract data from paper documents and export it into EHRs.

Lexmark acquired two other companies in March 2012—Isys, an enterprise search company, and Nolij, which offers a Web-based document imaging and workflow platform.

"Perceptive Software's rich process and content solution, combined with Acuo Technologies' Universal Clinical Platform, will provide users a single, enterprisewide view of all patient medical information from within the [EHR] system," Scott Coons, Perceptive Software president and CEO and Lexmark vice president, said in a statement.

The ECM software Lexmark will offer will enable doctors to view prescriptions, X-rays, ultrasounds and CT scans from within the EHR. A separate database for images won't be required. Database conversion capabilities will allow viewing of text-based medical records and images from multiple formats.

"This data is then presented in the context of the patient, so when the physician pulls up a patient record in the [EHR], all clinical content living outside that record is presented," added Coons.

By providing this complete view of patient data in a single platform, doctors will be able to offer more efficient care, according to Coons.

Integration of medical images and EHRs will also lower health care costs because the Acuo platform can work with multiple systems, Lexmark reported.

By combining Acuo's clinical content applications with Perceptive's experience in enterprise content management, doctors will be able to access both medical images and documents within an EHR, Jeff Timbrook, Acuo's CEO, said in a statement.

Governments, university medical centers and urban regional acute care centers use Acuo's health care software in North America and Europe.

In addition to its Universal Clinical Platform, Acuo also offers clinical data migration software. Its Universal Migration Expert applications allow doctors to convert images from one picture archiving and communication system (PACS) to another.