DOD enlists PACS firms under large DIN-PACS II contract

October 28, 2004

The U.S. Department of Defense has selected Agfa, the latest of several PACS manufacturers, for a portion of its DIN-PACS II contract. Earlier, the DOD selected Fuji Medical Systems (Sept. 28) and Kodak Health Imaging Group (Oct. 13) for the contract as well.

The U.S. Department of Defense has selected Agfa, the latest of several PACS manufacturers, for a portion of its DIN-PACS II contract. Earlier, the DOD selected Fuji Medical Systems (Sept. 28) and Kodak Health Imaging Group (Oct. 13) for the contract as well.

Details of the three agreements were not disclosed.

The DIN (digital imaging network)-PACS II contract, with a total potential value of $225 million over the full five years, initially runs for one year with an additional four option years, each potentially worth $45 million.

Industry watchers see the DOD contract, announced on Oct. 21, as evidence of Agfa's strong rebound with Impax 5.0, which will may help the firm leverage sales in the commercial sector as well.

The DIN-PACS II contract was several years in development. It underwent a stringent three-part review during which vendors not only completed an extensive request for proposal, but also participated in a systematic clarification process and were required to offer detailed technical updates.

Companies awarded this multivendor contract become essentially approved suppliers of advanced medical imaging and information systems to federal government agencies.

The U.S. military has taken an aggressive approach toward digital radiology. The army, for example, is approximately 70% digital, according to Robert de Treville, program manager and designated approval authority for Army DIN-PACS at Ft. Detrick, MD.

DIN-PACS is the military's answer to the downsizing command issued during the Clinton administration. Downsizing would require a virtual radiology environment, with a complete network straddling the globe.

DIN-PACS is an open network of digital devices designed to acquire, transmit, display, and manage diagnostic images. Within each medical facility, DIN-PACS is intended to eliminate imaging film, thus allowing for simultaneous real-time access to images by radiologists and clinicians at any time and any place within the facility.

The real attraction of DIN-PACS, however, is the network connection between military medical facilities. The system will enable radiologic workload to be shifted to any location in the world where the necessary clinical expertise is available.