Italian contrast developer Bracco Imaging is diversifying its focus to highlight the growing role of devices and software. The new emphasis was evident at last week's European Congress of Radiology (ECR), when the company unveiled its new Bracco Injeneering business and demonstrated its Nexo contrast management software.
Bracco Injeneering consolidates the injector product lines that Bracco has gathered up over the years through corporate acquisitions of companies such as Swiss Medical Care, E-Z-EM, and Acist Medical Systems. The branding of these products will be retired over the coming year in favor of Bracco Injeneering, according to Enrico Seccamani, downstream marketing director in the division.
ECR 2013 marked the public debut of the venture, which was formed in January 2013.
Although devices are a major component of the new business, the division also includes software in its purview, such as the new Nexo contrast management software that was shown at ECR 2013. The development of Nexo highlights the shift in corporate culture at Bracco as the company recognizes the increased importance of data in managing radiology facilities, particularly in the U.S., Seccamani said.
"Previously data was wasted -- it was like taking data you created and throwing it in the waste bin," Seccamani said. "Now, in the U.S., it becomes your obligation to show what you do, and you have to tell what you do in order to get paid."
|Bracco's Nexo software enables users to view data on their contrast use. Image courtesy of Bracco.
Nexo creates a unified software platform that enables radiology facilities to control and manage all of their Bracco contrast injectors. Users can create customized contrast injection protocols, which can help when setting up workflow for administering contrast. Workflow can be customized for individual injectors, and contrast protocols can even be launched over a Web browser, according to the company.
Nexo accepts patient data from RIS networks, and after injections are completed, reports are sent to a facility's PACS. Reports include information on the injection protocol that was planned and the protocol that was actually used, as well as any notes taken by the radiologic technologist on the procedure.
A dashboard feature allows Nexo users to produce reports on key performance indicators related to contrast use, such as the number of procedures performed, costs, average iodine dose, and extravasation events. Data can be sliced and diced in a number of different ways, such as contrast costs by patient body part or volume by clinical protocol.
Nexo sprang from Bracco's earlier work in contrast management software, particularly its IRiS contrast management software for MRI. The company adopted a more modern client/server-based model for the new platform.
Bracco plans to launch Nexo in the U.S. this summer in a limited release; the company is still debating how to offer it to European customers, which do not yet appear to have the same need for performance data as U.S. sites, Seccamani said. Still, Nexo could become available to European customers some time in 2014.
The launch of Nexo and the creation of Bracco Injeneering highlight the changing needs that are forcing companies like Bracco to adapt in the new world of radiology, Seccamani said.
"The world is changing: You don't just sell products, you have to provide solutions, and this goes in that direction," he said. "We are offering solutions to use our injectors, our consumables, and our contrast agents in a more meaningful way and a more conscious way so customers can see how much they use for which patient and which department."