Ambra Health Partners with MC Healthcare to Launch Cloud Medical Imaging Platform in Japan

Friday, April 13, 2018

Ambra Health, makers of the leading cloud-based, medical image management suite, today announced the company has signed a distribution agreement with MC Healthcare, one of Japan's largest medical distributors and a subsidiary company of Mitsubishi Corporation, to offer the Ambra Health medical imaging platform in Japan. Ambra Health is MC Healthcare's first digital health solution offered in the Japanese market.

The healthcare industry in Japan is characterized by similar trends occurring in the United States, including the strong need for collaboration across regional networks of healthcare providers. For medical imaging, this means the 8,000+ hospitals across Japan must now work together to make access to prior medical imaging flow seamlessly— a challenge that cloud platforms like Ambra are built to address. The overall enterprise image management market in Japan represents a $430M USD market opportunity that is currently dominated by on-premise, closed, server-based systems which make true interoperability an expensive challenge to overcome.

"In Japan, performing efficient medical care is critical to reducing high costs. Hospitals in particular can act as a leader in this area, and are expected to have secure and efficient technology, including image management. Ambra provides a way to securely exchange patient information and allow for regional collaborations," said Osamu Miyashita, CEO of MC Healthcare. "MC Healthcare will continue to contribute to improving medical services by using Ambra's imaging solutions for Japanese hospitals where efficiency and quality improvement are key initiatives," he added.

With best-in-class image exchange capabilities including Cloud PACS (picture archiving and communication systems), Cloud VNA (vendor neutral archive), diagnostic viewer, second opinion and clinical trial offerings, in addition to being designed from the ground up as a modern, open, highly interoperable solution, the Ambra platform is uniquely suited to address the needs of the rapidly evolving Japanese healthcare market.

The Ambra platform has been fully localized for the Japanese market by becoming APPI (Act on the Protection of Personal Information) compliant, run from a datacenter in Tokyo for optimized performance, and featuring a Japanese language user interface. In total, Ambra is now available in eight different languages, including: English, Japanese, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese and Arabic, for a truly global footprint.

"Ambra's imaging solutions have solved a number of pain points for leading US healthcare providers, resulting in more efficient image exchange and storage, significant cost savings and improved patient experiences," said Morris Panner, CEO of Ambra Health. "We're looking forward to bringing our best-in-class technology to Japanese healthcare providers through this partnership with MC Healthcare."

Sagara Women's Healthcare Group (SWHG) in Kagoshima Japan, a leading hospital specializing in breast cancer and women's health is an early adopter of Ambra's industry leading imaging exchange solutions for its mobile mammography services. In order to reach more women in the community, Sagara operates mammography vans. However, burning patient imaging on to DVDs that then had to be driven back to the hospital for review was a long and potentially error-prone process that was expensive, and time-consuming.

Today, with Ambra Health, imaging taken in the mobile mammography van is uploaded directly to the cloud, allowing instant routing of mammography images through the web to Sagara Hospital, speeding time-to-care delivery and increasing efficiency of the medical checkup business. On board the mobile mammography van is a lightweight gateway that instantly sends imaging to the Ambra cloud through a mobile wireless hotspot on the van. From the Ambra cloud, imaging is then also routed to Siemens Syngo PACS at the hospital and clinics where it can be viewed by more physicians. Dr. Sagara, the president of SWHG, says the need of collaboration within the group is arising due to the expansion of the group. A system that can be installed and expanded easily and safely at a reasonable cost was what he was looking for, and Ambra was a good fit for his future vision of the group. For full details, read the case study here.

Exchanging images over the cloud is also beneficial for powering tele-radiology and second opinion programs. Dr. Tozaki, President of a company which provides tele-radiology services in uses Ambra to receive and send back images from collaborating clinics to his office in Tokyo for tele-radiology without additional devices or systems, leading to cost savings. "We previously used CDs to send images back to our clinic in Tokyo for second opinion readings which was extremely time consuming and frustrating for patients. Now second opinions can be rendered immediately with instantaneous image exchange. Also, the accumulated data can be put to practical use by deep learning or AI technologies in the near future," said Dr. Tozaki.

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