European mobile services catch on

November 20, 1991

Calumet Coach of Calumet City, IL, created a European subsidiaryin March 1990 to capitalize on emerging demand for mobile imagingoverseas. Calumet Coach PLC, based near London in Camberly, beganshipping specially designed 12.8-meter mobile imaging vans

Calumet Coach of Calumet City, IL, created a European subsidiaryin March 1990 to capitalize on emerging demand for mobile imagingoverseas. Calumet Coach PLC, based near London in Camberly, beganshipping specially designed 12.8-meter mobile imaging vans inApril of last year, said J. Daniel Snyder, president.

Demand for mobile services in Europe is considerably lessthan that found in the U.S., but the idea appears to be catchingon, he said.

"People have to understand how to make mobile (imaging)work both medically and economically. We are starting to see moreentrepreneurs in many countries (of Europe), but this is stillin the early stages," Snyder said. "The whole concept--especiallythat of mobile MRI--has only been discussed for a short time."

As European countries privatize their economies and health-caresystems, obstacles to entrepreneurial shared service are falling.Cultural and regulatory differences between national markets continueto be complicating factors, however, despite the European Communitygoal of market and technical unification by the end of next year.

European imaging vans require more customizing than those soldin the U.S., he said.

"At this point, we have not reached a standard. We arestill dealing with different requirements for different countries.There are so many technologies involved in this (mobile imaging),that it is unrealistic to expect this all to happen in 1992 or1993," Snyder said.

The 12.8-meter length for mobile medical vans, for instance,is an EC standard that is still not fully accepted.

"All of the (EC) countries have not signed up for it yet,but the feeling is that they will," he said.

Calumet Coach has service engineers stationed in England andGermany and plans to increase its facilities on both sides ofthe English Channel. Eventually, the company would like to instituteEuropean manufacturing of vans, he said.

BRIEFLY NOTED:

  • Alliance Imaging of La Palma, CA, completed a public stockoffering this month, raising net proceeds of $18 million. Themobile imaging firm sold 2.4 million shares at $8.50 per share.Alliance will trade on the NASDAQ exchange. The proceeds willbe used to pay off existing debt so the firm can expand its MRIfleet. Alliance runs 51 MRI systems and seven CT units nationwide.

  • Advanced Diagnostic Imaging of New York City opened threeMRI centers this month. Two are located in Massachusetts and onein New Jersey. Two additional New Jersey centers are scheduledto open in the next three months, bringing ADI's total imagingcenter network to 11. The five latest facilities are equippedwith mid-field MRI systems from Hitachi, Resonex and Philips.