Growing interest in enterprise distribution of images has prompted the major film and modality vendors to look beyond radiology and cardiology for new business. New marketing strategies are designed to bridge the gap between the radiology department and
Growing interest in enterprise distribution of images has prompted the major film and modality vendors to look beyond radiology and cardiology for new business. New marketing strategies are designed to bridge the gap between the radiology department and everyone else. The message is less about the technology and more about the process of adopting it. "Workflow" has replaced "image quality" as the watchword of digital imaging in medicine.
Internet-based applications were central to GE Medical's presence at the meeting. In addition to its traditional PACS offerings, GEMS emphasized the growth of its Information Technologies division, which includes the company's ASP and e-commerce efforts. Building on its parent's foundation in networking, Marconi Medical Systems is trying to evolve from a modality-based company to an IT/IS provider.
In a similar vein, film companies want to be seen as providers of digital technology. Kodak's Health Imaging Division, which includes the new PARIS integrated RIS/PACS group, expects to introduce more than 50 products next year, three-fourths of which will be digital. Agfa focused more on its strategic partnerships with Comdisco and Inphact (and the resulting ASP capabilities) than it did on product-specific upgrades.
Despite such new dalliances, none of these firms have turned their backs on bread-and-butter businesses characterized by "traditional" PACS. Each exhibited enhancements to existing PACS products. Several showcased improvements in RIS integration and enterprise distribution capabilities. Voice recognition and 3-D viewing capabilities were also hot topics. Vendors now offer integrated digital dictation with their radiology workstations, and some are enabling their PACS to respond to voice commands.