Merge Healthcare Announces Authentic eFilm Software Amnesty Program : Merge is first healthcare firm to join the SIIA in fight against software piracy

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Merge Healthcare, (NASDAQ: MRGE) (TSX:MRG), a leading medical imaging software and services provider, announced the implementation of Authentic eFilm™, a software amnesty program to help organizations comply with license agreements for eFilm Workstation™ and to address unauthorized use of the software. Further, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) announced that Merge Healthcare has joined as a new member. As the software and digital content industry’s principle trade association, SIIA works with members to successfully thwart software piracy.

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Piracy robs legitimate software developers of resources for ongoing development and support of innovative products. SIIA members are from many industries, but Merge Healthcare is the first pure-play medical software vendor to join our Anti-Piracy Program. We look forward to working with Merge as we continue educational and legal initiatives to combat software piracy

Since 2003, more than 100,000 copies of eFilm Workstation have been downloaded from Merge Healthcare's web site, making it one of the most widely used DICOM-based diagnostic imaging desktop systems in the world. Clinicians use eFilm Workstation™ (an FDA-approved Class II Medical Device) to view digital MRI, CT, X-ray and other images to diagnose and recommend patient treatment. Product development of eFilm follows FDA guidelines and undergoes rigorous testing to ensure functionality within specified technology environments. Merge modifies and enhances the solution as environments change, and provides updates to customers. These updates may not be reaching users of pirated or unsupported copies, which could increase the risk of individuals using software that does not meet the high standards of the medical imaging industry.

"We value our eFilm customer base, and hope to convert all of the non-compliant users into authorized users of the current and most robust version to date. We believe there are users of unauthorized copies of eFilm that may not be aware of the implications of using unlicensed or unsupported versions of the software. This initiative supports clinicians, and ultimately the safety of patients, by helping to ensure safe and effective use of what we consider to be the world's best stand-alone diagnostic imaging workstation," said Nancy Koenig, President of Merge Fusion.

Under the Authentic eFilm program, Merge requests eFilm users with license validity concerns to complete a software audit form by December 31, 2008. Forms and information are available at http://www.authenticefilm.com. Participation in this process will enable organizations to validate compliance with end-user licenses, including verification that they are not using pirated versions, shared software, multiple installations or expired licenses. Users who discover they are non-compliant have the opportunity to purchase a license without penalty during the amnesty period, which expires on December 31, 2008. Academic and charitable organizations may apply for discounted eFilm software from Merge by completing an application from the http://www.authenticefilm.com web site.

On January 1, 2009, SIIA will begin auditing organizations that are reported to the SIIA as being non-compliant with eFilm licenses. Consistent with usual practices, the SIIA will seek damages against organizations with illegal copies of eFilm Workstation or copies exceeding those allowed by license. Organizations may potentially be liable for penalties such as damages up to three times the software's value. SIIA will also require the organization to purchase a current license from Merge Healthcare.

"Piracy robs legitimate software developers of resources for ongoing development and support of innovative products. SIIA members are from many industries, but Merge Healthcare is the first pure-play medical software vendor to join our Anti-Piracy Program. We look forward to working with Merge as we continue educational and legal initiatives to combat software piracy," stated Keith Kupferschmid, SIIA's SVP for Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement.

About SIIA

The Software & Information Industry Association is the principal trade association for the software and digital content industry. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education, and intellectual property protection to more than 500 leading software and information companies. For further information, visit http://www.siia.net.

Merge Healthcare is an innovative medical imaging software and services company. Our solutions are created using a unique business model that optimizes both accelerated technology development for our OEM or indirect channel and accelerated customer responsiveness for our end user channel. This approach allows us to help solve mission-critical issues for radiology practices, outpatient imaging centers, hospitals, imaging companies, distributors, pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers worldwide. For additional information, visit http://www.merge.com.

The matters discussed in this news release may include forward-looking statements, which could involve a number of risks and uncertainties. When used in this press release, the words "will," "believes," "intends," "anticipates," "expects" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements. Except as expressly required by the federal securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to update such factors or to publicly announce the results of any of the forward-looking statements.

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Steven M. Oreskovich
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