Imaging and interoperability solutions provider,
) recently announced the launch of its latest clinical trial
operating solution Merge eClinical OS. This innovation is claimed
to be the first end-to-end study support for trials of all sizes
through a single interface and one platform, thus minimizing the
technical and administrative hazards associated with trial
management. Merge plans to unveil this solution at the upcoming DIA
Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.
As a single web-based solution, Merge eClinical OS is fit for both
large and small studies and is apt for large pharma, biotechs,
small and large medical device companies, contract research
organizations (CROs) and academic medical institutes. This solution
also has the flexibility to grow if there is an increase in size,
number or complexity of the trial.
According to the CMS, as of December 2011, more than 175,000
professionals and hospitals have registered for "meaningful use"
incentive programs, and $2.5 billion was paid out to eligible
hospitals and professionals. The incentives will be offered for a
period of 4-5 years, after which physicians will be penalized for
not adopting proper measures.
The company remains optimistic that with this new clinical
trials software, the specialty physicians will come up to meet the
Meaningful Use criteria, thereby driving the demand for its
Favorable demographic trends, reinforced by a supportive regulatory
environment are expected to sustain strong growth in demand for
EHR-related software in the foreseeable future. We believe that
Merge is well placed to grab a meaningful share of the
multi-billion dollar ARRA-related healthcare information technology
However, we remain concerned about the declining Medicare
reimbursement for advanced medical imaging that could negatively
affect hospital and imaging clinic revenues, thereby reducing the
demand for imaging-related software and services offered by Merge.
Furthermore, the presence of many big players like
) has made the healthcare solutions and services market highly
Presently, Merge retains a short-term Zacks #4 Rank (Sell). Over
the long term, we have a Neutral recommendation on the stock.
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