Merge Healthcare Incorporated, a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, and Heart Imaging Technologies (Heart IT), an industry leader in web-based medical image viewing and management solutions, today announced they have entered into a non-exclusive patent license and settlement agreement.
The agreement provides Merge with access to Heart IT's complete portfolio of healthcare information patents, including its zero footprint technologies, which provide access to diagnostic-quality images in a standard web browser. The agreement also settles the litigation initiated by Heart IT against Merge in September of 2012 for patent infringement related to internet-based image viewing. As part of the settlement, Merge has agreed to not challenge the validity or enforceability of Heart IT's zero footprint patents.
"We're pleased to come to an agreement with Heart IT," said Justin Dearborn, CEO at Merge Healthcare. "This settlement is a positive one for Merge. We're now the only company, aside from Heart IT, that can offer its customers a zero client viewer without concern over infringing Heart IT's patents. The settlement also creates new development opportunities for Merge to collaborate with Heart IT on future solutions. We remain focused on providing industry leading imaging solutions that enable advanced interoperability across the enterprise and support standards and regulatory initiatives such as Meaningful Use Stage 2."
"Heart IT's commitment to developing and patenting zero footprint technologies dates back to the late 1990s," said Robert M. Judd, Ph.D., President of Heart Imaging Technologies. "Now, these technologies are revolutionizing image distribution to referring physicians. We believe the next step is to allow physicians to make primary diagnoses in a web browser, thereby, reducing the need for expensive proprietary workstations. This patent license agreement allows Heart IT to collaborate with Merge, an established leader in advanced interoperability solutions, on new products that reduce healthcare costs while simultaneously improving patient care."