GE exits DIN-PACS bids to focus on private sector

GE exits DIN-PACS bids to focus on private sectorGE Medical Systems early last month announced its withdrawal from the bidding process for the Defense Imaging Network-Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (DIN-PACS) project. The move

GE exits DIN-PACS bids to focus on private sector

GE Medical Systems early last month announced its withdrawal from the bidding process for the Defense Imaging Network-Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (DIN-PACS) project. The move comes just weeks before bids are set to be awarded for the project, which some estimate to be worth $300 million to $1.25 billion.

GEMS officials say the company decided to exit the process after it was unable to meet two requirements in the project. The Milwaukee-based vendor participated throughout the benchmark testing and RFP responses, but was ultimately unsuccessful in its attempts to persuade the government to relax the requirements. Since developing those capabilities were not consistent with the company's plans for its commercial product line, GEMS made the difficult decision to withdraw, according to the firm.

In keeping with the confidential nature of the DIN-PACS bidding process, GEMS would not disclose the specific requirements it was unable to meet.

With GEMS now officially out of the running, the field has apparently narrowed to several consortia:

  • Agfa as prime contractor, with Cerner supplying the RIS and Cabletron the networking components;
  • Telecommunications giant GTE as a prime, with Imation Cemax-Icon subcontracted to provide a PACS component;
  • Defense systems integration firm BTG as a prime, with Siemens supplying PACS; and
  • IBM's Worldwide Government Industry division as a prime, with Brit Systems supplying PACS software and Eastman Kodak participating as well.

Although the government has not guaranteed PACS sales outside of the three projects it specified in the RFP, the real reward will come when Department of Defense hospitals look to acquire PACS technology. By one estimate, there are 123 hospitals in the network, many of which are looking to upgrade to digital image management (PNN 6/97).