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HP serves PACS vendors with IT support products

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Although best known as a leader in the development of personal computer and peripheral technology, Hewlett-Packard has been an important player behind the scenes of PACS, providing support technology to the leading companies in this market segment.

Although best known as a leader in the development of personal computer and peripheral technology, Hewlett-Packard has been an important player behind the scenes of PACS, providing support technology to the leading companies in this market segment.

"We're very heavily into the medical information technology arena with our servers, our storage products, and our peripherals," said John Collins, manager of medical imaging solutions for the Palo Alto, CA, company. "These have been used for some time in medical imaging for the storage and retrieval of DICOM images."

Key products include the ProLiant line of servers, specifically the BL p-class for enterprise applications and the BL e-class for front-end applications. The company's StorageWorks product line, which is scalable, includes the MSA, EVA, and XP arrays. HP IT products are installed in most hospitals, Collins said.

HP servers and storage products first emerged as integral parts of the PAC systems offered by most major vendors in the last three years, according to Collins.

"We have the ability with our StorageWorks line to support the virtualization and storage of medical images for long periods of time," he said. "We have the StorageWorks EVA for storing images online. We also have products for very long-term storage and for retrieval of images."

This broad range of products, which includes tape for the long-term archiving of images, puts the company in the mainstream of the PACS industry. Collins said HP is the only company that offers such breadth of support and services for PACS. The firm is not, however, all that visible. And Collins likes it that way.

"We have much more business out there than people realize," he said. "We have products in the vast majority of medical centers, hospitals, and medical imaging clinics. We support most of the healthcare information and PACS vendors."

But HP has no interest in the medical imaging business. They'll leave that to the people who do it best, Collins said.

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