IBM takes Unix PACS to Europe

January 29, 1992

IBM brought together two strange bedfellows at the RadiologicalSociety of North America conference last month. Most of IBM'sexhibit was devoted to picture archiving and communication systemproducts under development by the GE/IBM Integrated

IBM brought together two strange bedfellows at the RadiologicalSociety of North America conference last month. Most of IBM'sexhibit was devoted to picture archiving and communication systemproducts under development by the GE/IBM Integrated Diagnosticsproject. The IBM booth was located adjacent to GE's mini-city.

The ID works-in-progress products are built around IBM's AS/400minicomputer as well as the IBM PS/2 personal computer.

One corner of the IBM booth, however, displayed the Unix-basedIBM RS/6000 workstation adapted for medical applications by Genesysof Orlando, FL. IBM uses the Genesys product for its PACS workin Europe, said Dr. Jan Peter J. de Valk, project manager of IBM'sIntegrated Diagnostics Support Center in Boerhaavelaan, Holland.

The U.S. computer giant has initiated pilot PACS projectsat Leiden University Hospital in the Netherlands and La TimoneHospital in Marseille, France.

IBM's development and marketing agreement with GE covers theU.S., according to IBM's in-house publication, IDSC News. Thecomputer firm also has an agreement with GE's Japanese medicalsystems subsidiary, Yokogawa Medical Systems.

"In Europe, no (IBM national organization) has announcedan IBM-GE agreement or products forthcoming from the USA-onlyagreement," said IDSC News. "It is generally agreedbetween the European countries (that they will) aim at an openplatform for IDS, most probably involving IBM's Unix (AIX) softwareand corresponding hardware (RS/6000)."

IBM entered into two separate relationships with Genesys inEurope and South America, said Michael Kerouac, Genesys president.The decision as to what PACS platform to use is left up to individualIBM national organizations in Europe. However, IBM in Italy, France,Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K. chose the Genesys ROI productbased on RS/6000 as the exclusive medical imaging workstation,he said.

Both GE and Genesys have the same status as industry applicationspecialists with IBM. Both companies develop medical softwareapplications for IBM computers. Neither will sell IBM hardware.That is left up to the IBM branch offices, Kerouac said.

IBM representatives have sold the Genesys PACS product in theU.S., but only on an individual project basis. GE and Genesysdo not work together, he said.

GE has shown PACS technology from its ID effort with IBM forthe last eight RSNA shows but never as a commercial product. IBMintroduced its RS/6000 workstation two years ago in an effortto regain technological ground lost to Sun Microsystems and othercompanies developing powerful workstations based on reduced instructionset computing (RISC) architectures (SCAN 2/28/90).