Electronic imaging subsidiary signals Kodak focus

July 14, 1993

Eastman Kodak showed the importance it places on electronic medicalimaging last month with the creation of a new subsidiary companyof its Health Sciences division. Kodak Health Imaging Systemscombines the digital image management products of Vortech

Eastman Kodak showed the importance it places on electronic medicalimaging last month with the creation of a new subsidiary companyof its Health Sciences division. Kodak Health Imaging Systemscombines the digital image management products of Vortech Datawith laser printers and other electronic imaging products fromHealth Sciences in Rochester, NY.

About half of the subsidiary's employees will be located inRochester and half at the Vortech factory in Richardson, TX, saidCatherine M. Burzik, KHIS president and CEO. The Rochester staffwill work mostly on research, design, development and manufacturingof laser printers and a new phosphor-based computed radiographyproduct, the Ektascan Imagelink Critical Care System.

While fully digital picture archiving and communications systemsmay well be the ultimate fate of medical imaging, market demandin the foreseeable future lies in hybrid film and digital systems.Consequently, Kodak will maintain a unified sales approach forall hard- and soft-copy health-care products, Burzik told SCAN.

"Sales of our products will be 100% through the Kodakfield force," she said. "This is an important strategicdecision for us. We will not have an independent electronic (imaging)field force competing with our traditional account managers. Instead,we have chosen to broaden the capability of our traditional accountmanagers to be able to sell both traditional and hybrid systems."

Kodak's entire medical sales force was brought to the Vortechfacility for product training in April and May, she said. Eachaccount manager spent a week becoming familiar with the electronicimaging equipment and applications so that they can better sellthe complete product line. KHIS will provide technical productsupport to the sales force.

While scanner sales have been hurt by the uncertainty of upcominghealth-care reform, certain segments of the electronic medicalimaging market are feeling a business boost as hospitals striveto improve the efficiency of their operations, Burzik said.

"We are seeing a lot of activity this year in (hospital)purchases of film digitizer systems," she said. "Health-carereform provides an incentive for (implementation of) managementsystems to move images from point to point where diagnoses canbe made."