Imaging and interoperability solutions provider
Merge Healthcare Incorporated
) continues to extend its customer base. The company recently
disclosed that its complete iConnect Enterprise Clinical Platform
and Merge Honeycomb Archive will be deployed at Graham Hospital
in Canton, Illinois.
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While iConnect is an interoperability and connectivity platform,
Honeycomb is a cloud-based platform which shares, manages and
stores diagnostic images. iConnect offers hospitals and imaging
centers the ability to create information exchanges within their
environments and with other entities. It also provides access to
imaging and diagnostic data across disparate sites, geographies,
specialties and providers.
The deployment will enable Graham Hospital to improve standards
of care. Further, it will improve the workflow of the hospital's
IT resources and decrease costs. The implementation of Merge
Healthcare's offerings will also support the hospital's effort to
meet the Stage 2 criteria of the Meaningful Use incentive program
including image-enabling the Electronic Health Record (EHR).
Implementation of the final stage 2 ruling will begin in 2014.
Merge Healthcare is in the midst of a challenging reimbursement
environment. Additionally, the macroeconomic woes negatively
impacted the market for medical imaging technologies. Notably,
general slowdown in hospital spending and low demand for imaging
equipment and related technology, a result of the global credit
crisis and macroeconomic factors, could result in lower Merge
Healthcare product sales.
However, we should not overlook the company's growth in bookings
and recent contract wins. It is commendable that Merge Healthcare
continues to ink contracts despite several headwinds. The company
is also well placed to benefit from the strong demand for
EHR-related software in the foreseeable future on the back of the
Analysts have been moving earnings estimates higher for the
ongoing year over the last 60 days for Merge Healthcare.
Accordingly, the stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other
medical stocks such as
), each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) are also expected
to do well and warrant a look.