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AT&T to retool medical strategy with reorganization of business unit

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Health Care Solutions Group is under scrutinyAT&T is reevaluating its approach to the health-care market,which could result in changes in the way the company's medicalbusiness is structured, according to a well-placed source at theSomerset,

Health Care Solutions Group is under scrutiny

AT&T is reevaluating its approach to the health-care market,which could result in changes in the way the company's medicalbusiness is structured, according to a well-placed source at theSomerset, NJ, telecommunications giant. While the source emphasizedthat the company's commitment to the medical market will continue,the reorganization could involve the assignment of parts of AT&THealth Care Solutions Group to other business units.

AT&T Health Care Solutions Group has been in the worksfor the past two years to consolidate the company's approach tothe medical business. AT&T began ramping up the group's corporateprofile in the middle of last year. Before the group's formation,AT&T's medical personnel and assets were fragmented betweendifferent business units. AT&T hoped the group would provideit with a vertical approach to providing health-care solutions.

In medical imaging, the group has focused on systems integrationof PACS with other elements in a hospital's communications network.AT&T has integrated PACS workstations with video conferencingtechnology and added an interface with radiology information systemsto provide facilities with practical solutions to problems, accordingto the source. The group has adapted AT&T technology to medicalapplications and has also pursued OEM agreements with other vendorsfor their technology. For example, AT&T signed a deal withCemax late last year to resell the Fremont, CA, firm's PerfectVision line of medical image management products (SCAN 12/28/94).

The reorganization will probably involve the assignment ofsections of the group to other AT&T business units, whilekeeping personnel with similar missions together. The changesare expected to improve the efficiency of the company's health-careoperations by allowing them to take advantage of the clout ofexisting business units.

AT&T will continue to support its OEM contracts and remainscommitted to the vertical approach to health-care that the groupestablished.

"We are not at all backing away from a vertical marketfocus," the source said.

The reorganization will not affect the structure of other AT&Tbusiness units that have operations in the health-care market,such as AT&T Global Information Solutions Group, which isworking with companies like Medical Display Systems in the PACSmarket.

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