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ALI ventures into cardia realm via partnership with Camtronics


ALI ventures into cardia realm via partnership with CamtronicsFirms will collaborate on integrated radiology/cardiology applicationsALI Technologies continues to broaden its reach in the image management market, this time stepping beyond

ALI ventures into cardia realm via partnership with Camtronics

Firms will collaborate on integrated radiology/cardiology applications

ALI Technologies continues to broaden its reach in the image management market, this time stepping beyond both ultrasound and radiology into the cardiology arena. The Canadian PACS firm has formed a strategic alliance with cardiac image management firm Camtronics to jointly develop image management and information systems for radiology and cardiology.

Among other things, the deal gives Milwaukee-based Camtronics exclusive rights to use ALI’s software in its cardiology products, which immediately provides ALI with an income stream. In addition, the two companies will jointly develop integrated radiology/cardiology applications, clinical information systems, and multimodality connectivity devices. ALI and Camtronics opted for a strategic alliance rather than a typical OEM relationship in order to share revenues as well as resources, according to Greg Peet, ALI president.

“We each are going to develop our own products, but when integrated products are sold jointly to a customer, we will share in the revenues,” Peet said. “Part of our goal is to offer a single platform that reaches beyond radiology, and cardiology is the next biggest segment of imaging after radiology. So it is a natural extension to combine the two.”

The alliance actually formalizes a long-standing relationship between these two companies. Camtronics, which is a subsidiary of Analogic Corp. of Peabody, MA, and has a joint development partnership for cardiac PACS with Philips Medical Systems (PNN 10/97), has been supplying connectivity devices to ALI for the past few years. More recently, the two companies began collaborating on a product that utilizes their common technology platform. They intend to launch that product before year’s end. Camtronics, which declined to provide any details about the product, will formally introduce it at the American Heart Association meeting in October.

“Our solution has the compelling attribute of a common technology platform with a single work flow and the workstation applications that ALI and Camtronics have achieved,” Peet said. “We believe the scale of this product establishes a new benchmark in medical image and information management technology.”

This new relationship comes just three months after ALI acquired all shares of Olicon Imaging Systems (PNN 7/99). That deal was designed primarily to enable ALI to take advantage of Olicon’s installed customer base, improve service capabilities, and move beyond its core ultrasound miniPACS product offerings. Both ALI and Olicon use the Windows NT platform, SQL databases, and Intel microprocessor-based hardware in their products. Similarly, ALI and Camtronics share DICOM, Windows NT, and SQL in their respective products.

“The key thing to recognize is that they are trying to solve similar problem sets in radiology that we are trying to solve in cardiology,” said Tom Kennedy, director of business development for Camtronics. “And clearly we are all headed toward enterprise-wide integrated systems.”

The ALI alliance does not affect Camtronics’s relationship with Philips, Kennedy adds. Through that partnership, formed in 1997, Camtronics primarily supplies its cardiac catheterization lab network to Philips.

“We are still strongly associated with Philips and are looking to expand our relationship with them,” Kennedy said. “Eventually we may even funnel some of the technology from the ALI relationship into our work with Philips.”

Camtronics also supplies workstations to GE Medical Systems and components to Trex Medical.

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