Cedara Software Announces New Solutions for Deformable Registration and Image Fusion

o Cedara to provide new rigid and deformable registration technologies for image fusion to address the growing need for multi modality review and analysis tools
o Solutions include support for PET/CT image fusion, lung SPECT/CT image fusion, and MRI/SPECT image fusion for the brain
o Registration tools are expected to form an important sub-component of new diagnostic and therapeutic solutions
o Registration tools contribute to Cedara's growing capabilities for engineering services and rapid application development for the OEM community

TORONTO, Nov. 29 -- Cedara Software, a Merge Healthcare company (Nasdaq: MRGE; TSX: MRG) and a leading independent developer of medical software technologies for the global healthcare market, today announced the release of several new solutions for deformable registration and image fusion. The new solutions include applications for PET/CT image fusion, lung SPECT/CT image fusion, and MRI/SPECT image fusion for the brain. Cedara's growing suite of fusion solutions are based on an innovative new platform technology that uses functional and anatomical information for deformable registration.

In clinical practice, image fusion has increasingly become a standard of care for many diagnostic and therapy planning procedures; to provide comprehensive information, physicians often image patients with multiple modalities allowing complementary information not available from a single device to be viewed concurrently. To compare images simultaneously, registration algorithms are used to correct for discrepancies caused by image acquisition, patient position, breathing motion and other factors. Rigid registration provides one method of aligning images by magnifying, rotating or translating one image to match another. Non-rigid or deformable registration is a more sophisticated method that can warp, shear, bend and otherwise transform an image to gain a correspondence. For example, breathing causes a patient's lungs to be shaped differently between imaging sessions; in this instance, a select anatomical region changes its volume and shape in a different manner from the rigid rib cage that surrounds it. In order to align these images, a complex warping transformation is required.

"From an engineering standpoint, image registration represents an advanced capability for many healthcare companies," said Peter Bascom, Sr. Vice President of Engineering at Merge Healthcare. "Similar to image segmentation, deformable registration doesn't support a one-size-fits-all approach -- a variety of different rules, algorithms and biomechanical knowledge need to be used when aligning different anatomical areas. From a business perspective, this often makes registration a prohibitively time consuming and expensive investment for different medical imaging companies."

Advanced software tools, application components and engineering services are a substantial focus for Cedara Software. With over 20 years of experience in the medical imaging marketplace, Cedara has accumulated a wide array of expertise and advanced starting points that can help OEM companies get to market faster and more efficiently with new software solutions.

"Getting any product to market is a key concern for most companies," stated Chris Barlow, Director of Business Development at Cedara Software. "Today, many novel and innovative clinical applications have a need for multi-modality registration and Cedara can provide a significant jump-start in this area. Throughout our history, Cedara's custom engineering services have developed hundreds of projects, amounting to over a thousand man-years of work. Between the strength of our existing technology base and a new onshore/offshore development model, Cedara's engineering services present an extremely practical and economical way of getting products to market."

For many companies, slight customization of existing technologies from Cedara provide a strong foundation for product development. Cedara's custom engineering projects for the OEM community have included a broad range of solutions including a nuclear medicine workstation, cardiac imaging applications, orthopaedic analysis components, segmentation tools, solutions for the clinical trial market, modality console applications, and more.

Cedara's current registration solutions have been applied to neurology, oncology, radiology and other clinical disciplines for the analysis of lung cancer, emphysema, pulmonary embolisms, general neural conditions, Alzheimer's, stroke, brain cancer and more. Cedara's deformable registration solution for PET/CT imaging has obtained FDA 510(k) clearance.

All products mentioned above currently represent works-in-progress solutions.

Cedara Software is a Merge Healthcare company focused on the development of custom engineered software applications and development tools for the medical imaging OEM and International markets. Cedara software is deployed in hospitals and clinics worldwide and is licensed by many of the world's leading medical device and healthcare information technology companies. Cedara technologies and expertise span all the major digital imaging modalities including computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), digital X-ray, mammography, ultrasound, echo-cardiology, angiography, nuclear medicine, positron emission tomography (PET) and fluoroscopy. Cedara medical imaging offerings are used in all aspects of clinical imaging workflow including the capture of a patient's digital image; the archiving, communication and manipulation of digital images; sophisticated clinical applications to analyze digital images; and the use of imaging in minimally-invasive surgery. For additional information, visit our website at cedara.com/ .

Merge Healthcare is a market leader in the development and delivery of medical imaging and information management software and services. With over twenty years of leadership in the medical imaging and healthcare information technology markets, Merge Healthcare provides innovative solutions for both OEM and the end-user healthcare markets. We custom engineer clinical and imaging applications and development tools that are on the forefront of medicine and its use of medical imaging for OEM and international customers. We develop innovative medical imaging software solutions that support end-to-end business and clinical workflow for radiology department and specialty practices, imaging centers and hospitals. Our innovative software solutions use leading-edge imaging software technologies that accelerate market delivery for our OEM customers, while our end-user solutions improve our customers' productivity and enhance the quality of patient care they provide. For additional information, visit our website at http://www.merge.com/.

Source: Cedara Software

Beth Frost-Johnson,
Sr. VP of Marketing,
Merge Healthcare,

Web site: cedara.com/

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