Merge Live by the numbers

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Last week, Merge hosted its annual client conference in Chicago. Designed with customers in mind, the conference provided numerous opportunities to learn from Merge experts and customers, deepen product and industry understanding, and focus on the solutions and best practices that matter the most. We believe it was our best Merge Live to date, but the numbers speak for themselves.

Merge Live 2016 brought together 247 customers from near and far – the most since we began in 2011. Attendees came from all over the US, Canada, the UK and beyond, representing ambulatory and acute settings, a host of different roles within their respective organizations, and a variety of Merge solutions. This diverse audience was collaborative, vocal and eager to share their perspectives and industry knowledge.

Merge Live was packed with 40+ educational sessions led by both Merge subject matter experts and customers with extensive industry experience. Attendees were able to provide valuable feedback, learn from customer success stories detailing how to maximize the value of their healthcare IT investments, and acquire valuable knowledge from experienced users and peers facing similar challenges. Beyond our solution-specific speakers, the Merge Live general sessions were very well received, particularly the closing keynote address. In this session, Dan Mollura, M.D., President and CEO of RAD-AID International, detailed the story and incredible impact of RAD-AID, the charitable organization he founded to help bring radiology and imaging technology to developing and impoverished countries around the globe. Mollura’s presentation sparked numerous questions, ranging from how the organization works to how to get involved.

Over 2.5 days, Merge delivered educational sessions focused along five different tracks: Interoperability, Cardiology, PACS/Unity, RIS, and Financials. We aimed to provide our clients with sessions specific to their individual day-to-day work and overall organizational objectives. Thus far, the overall session feedback has been very positive. One client-led session in particular, Healthcare Collaboration: Image Sharing and Exchange Success Stories, is a great example of two organizations, Tenet Healthcare and Cottage Hospital, who came together to discuss strategies for image sharing.

While so many aspects of Merge Live are worth mentioning, these two highlights truly stood out.

Merge kicked off the first night of the conference with a fantastic networking event at the Museum of Science and Industry. Customers enjoyed cocktails and appetizers as they explored the Innovation, Genetics and Storms exhibits.

On the second day of Merge Live, Anne Le Grand, General Manager of Watson Health Imaging; Nancy Koenig, General Manager of Merge; Steve Tolle, VP of Strategy for Watson Health Imaging; and Bob Schallhorn, Solutions Management Leader for Watson Health Imaging, shared their insights on what the future holds for Merge, Watson Health Imaging, and the future of cognitive computing. This session provided customers with insights into how the solutions they use will integrate with Watson Health technology to help providers make faster, better healthcare decisions.

Merge Live brought together hundreds of clients and speakers with differing viewpoints and their own unique views on the industry, the company and the direction we should be pursuing. But what stood out, as we gathered - IBM, Merge, Unity, customers, employees, peers – was a singular optimism and excitement; a sense that we are on the cusp of something amazing, something revolutionary that will transform the medical imaging market and healthcare as a whole. We are thankful for all of our customers who are part of that vision and momentum. It is incredible to think of where it will take us.

If you attended Merge Live, check out the photo gallery and video, then take the survey to help us improve the conference for 2017.

Originally posted on: 9/19/2016 11:52:34 AM

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Kayley Weinbaum
Kayley Weinbaum is Integrated Marketing Manager for Watson Health Imaging.

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