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Intellipad Revolutionizes Tracking And Management Of Breast Disease Using Apple's Newton Technology


The new Biopsys Intellipad will revolutionize the way breast disease is tracked and managed by radiologists and other physicians involved in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast disease, according to Biopsys Medical Inc., which developed and markets the handheld computer device.

The first clinically specific application of its kind, the Intellipad combines with Biopsys Medical's Breast Center Manager (BCM) software to provide physicians with access to all relevant patient data.

The Intellipad puts the power of the latest handheld computer technology in the hands of doctors who care for breast patients and can be utilized in a timely manner by every physician in the clinical path of care. It also helps ensure that all follow-up reports, correspondence, office visits and tests are completed.

By adapting Apple Computer's Newton technology to the most comprehensive software for breast patient care and practice management, the Intellipad will forever change the way physicians and breast centers compile and track patient information, while also allowing them to cut costs, according to Mary Kay Cadenhead of Biopsys Medical.

"With a handheld touch screen, the use of graphics for easy and accurate input, and the convenient size and easy portability, the Intellipad will greatly enable and expand use of the Breast Center Manager," said Cadenhead. "This exciting device puts new electronic capabilities into the hands of many physicians, who might not otherwise harness the power of a computer to assist them in delivering the best care to their patients."

Generates Powerful Outcomes Data

As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and managed care companies increase their requirements, the Intellipad and BCM also make it much easier for radiologists, surgeons, pathologists and breast centers to generate the accurate, detailed outcomes information that is increasingly required by managed care companies.

Physicians have often previously had to add clerical staff to comply with FDA reporting requirements, said Steve Parker, M.D., a radiologist at the Sally Jobe Breast Center in Englewood, Colo., who uses the Intellipad and Breast Center Manager in his practice. In addition to meeting those FDA requirements, Intellipad facilitates the provision of detailed outcomes data -- with accuracy by recording data at the point of care.

Those data can then be readily supplied to managed care providers. This sophisticated capability makes it far easier for breast centers and physician groups -- who are increasingly marketing their services to managed care companies -- to generate the data these companies need.

"Managed care entities are interested in proving to the world and the patient population that they do look carefully at quality," Parker said. "When you can hand the managed care companies this data on a silver platter and fulfill their quality requirements, they take you much more seriously, because they know you are providing accurate, detailed outcomes data."

Reduces Cost by Eliminating Dictation and Transcription

Among other advantages of the Biopsys Medical system are immediate follow-up for patients with suspicious breast-exam results, significant cost savings, and improved practice efficiencies. For example, the Intellipad removes the need for the radiologist to dictate mammogram findings, and it also eliminates data entry and transcription of those findings.

"The old way of doing things was a disjointed, slow and expensive process," said Parker. "At our breast center, we are saving $50,000 a year with the use of the Intellipad by eliminating transcription and data entry costs alone."

Radiologists can take the Intellipad with them to any reading station. After identifying the patient by swiping the patient's bar code on the accompanying paperwork or mammogram itself -- an action that integrates previously entered patient information with the mammogram findings -- the physician uses the intuitively oriented drop-down menus to denote the appropriate diagnosis, by touching the screen at the appropriate points.

The mammogram data can then be immediately downloaded into the BCM software, bypassing data entry and transcription, which typically take a full day or more.

The radiologist can then rely on BCM to produce a follow-up for the patient, print the proper reports and generate letters or patient reports for the referring or consulting physician. It also automatically prepares future patient notifications and internal reminders to office staff about the patient's case and stores all the data for ready access in the future.

The estimated cost of mammogram data entry and transcription services for a typical breast center for one year exceeds the cost of two Intellipads and the latest BCM software, which can be used over many years, said Cadenhead of Biopsys Medical. The Intellipad works with both existing PC and Apple computer systems.

The Intellipad and BCM software have the potential for many additional applications, according to Parker. While the initial release of the Intellipad is designed for radiologists, versions soon to be on the market will be customized for the needs of surgeons and other specialists who treat breast disease.

Future capabilities will include autofax, e-mail and wireless data transmissions, Cadenhead said, which will add another level of assurance that the right information arrives on time and is not overlooked or lost due to human error.



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