Mayo Clinic and Canaan Partners invest $6 million in D.C. man’s image disruptor

A Washington entrepreneur who took over a Phoenix-based disruptor in the medical imaging field, in part over frustration while caring for his ill son, has landed $6 million in funding from backers, including the Mayo Clinic and venture capital group Canaan Partners.

Morris Panner, 51, chief executive of Dicom Grid, said the money will be used to accelerate growth at the company, which uses cloud computing to make it easier for hospitals, doctors and medical centers to share and secure patient X-rays, MRIs and CAT scans.

“We are a tool for helping health-care institutions get the data they need to evaluate patients,” said Panner, who founded GroupFlier, a Novak Biddle-backed group texting platform. He also serves on the board of the District-based Software and Information Industry Association.

Dicom already has a relationship with Frederick Memorial Hospital in Frederick, and “with Mayo coming on board as a customer and an investor, our national and international footprint just took a massive step forward,” Panner said.

Panner, who lives in Montgomery County, took over the company three years ago.

Panner heard about Dicom through a network and was interested in the subject because of a personal experience. When his son was a baby suffering from health issues, Panner encountered difficulties transferring medical images to and from doctors’ offices and hospitals, including the National Institutes of Health.

Imaging has been one of the fastest-growing components of medical costs and constitutes between 7.5 and 10 percent of total health-care expenditures, according to Dicom.

Dicom, which has offices in Boston and Phoenix, was founded in 2005 by a group of neurosurgeons.

The company produced a piece of software that makes it easy to move X-rays across hospital borders. Panner took over in 2011, reducing staff while expanding the business.

Besides the Mayo Clinic and Frederick Memorial Hospital, the company’s customers include Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, Greater Houston Healthconnect, Baptist Health South Florida, Memorial Hermann Health System and large clinical trial research organizations.

Panner said he expects to use this funding to get to profitability.

Capital Business is The Post’s weekly publication focusing on the region’s business community. For more Washington business news, go to www.capbiz.biz.

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
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