Last year, MODERN HEALTHCARE reported on a group of software manufacturers that was hounding the powerful American College of Radiology to dump a competing product (Jan. 16, 1995, p. 37).
Now the group is claiming victory for free enterprise after the ACR MagView program was sold to Applied Software, a Silver Spring, Md.-based software company last October. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
A multimillion-dollar market for specialty computer software was created by the federal Mammography Quality Standards Act of 1992, which makes facilities track biopsy results. Congress approved the legislation after numerous complaints that mammograms often were being mishandled and women were dying as a result.
ACR owned MagView, the market leader. It also was-and still is-the chief accreditor of mammography centers for the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees MQSA.
Critics argued that mammography centers bought the ACR product because they believed it would help them get accredited. About 12 companies formed the American Mammography Software Association to attack what they saw as an unfair advantage.
Two years later, ACR officials say they are happy the dispute is over. The sale of MagView, however, wasn't prompted by AMSA complaints, said Gordon Bass, a product manager at the ACR Institute, which held MagView.
The software was developed to promote ACR terms and reporting methods for mammography, called BI-RADS, Bass said. The standard lexicon is essential to a valid national database, he said. But once BI-RADS gained acceptance, the ACR didn't need MagView, Bass said.
AMSA members say they now hope to work with the ACR to resolve their concerns about the BI-RADS definitions.