HealthInfoNet, the state health information exchange in Maine, will this summer pilot test the exchange of diagnostic medical images with an eye on expanding the service statewide by 2013.

Five major provider organizations--Central Maine Health Care, Cary Medical Center, Eastern Maine Healthcare, Maine General and MaineHealth--helped develop the initiative. Now, Cary, Eastern Maine, and Maine General will load images and test integration with various picture archiving and communication systems during the pilot, with the others joining later this year. The HIE estimates electronic exchange of images will save Maine providers $6 million over seven years.

HealthInfoNet, which for several years has moved radiology reports, will provide the image exchange service using a cloud-based archive from Dell Inc. The state generates an estimated 1.8 million medical images annually totaling more than 45 terabytes of data, according to the HIE.

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