ISG expands OEM sales strategy

December 15, 1993

Medical image processing vendor ISG Technologies opened the doorsfor a peek at its expanded stable of OEM partners during the 1993RSNA meeting. ISG hardware and software was shown at about a dozenoriginal-equipment market suppliers on the show's exhibit

Medical image processing vendor ISG Technologies opened the doorsfor a peek at its expanded stable of OEM partners during the 1993RSNA meeting. ISG hardware and software was shown at about a dozenoriginal-equipment market suppliers on the show's exhibit floor.

The Mississauga, Ontario-based company cemented new OEM relationshipswith Otsuka Electronics and Hitachi Medical Systems America. ISGcollaborated in the development of a display and analysis nuclearmedicine workstation unveiled at the show by GE Medical Systems.At its own booth, ISG demonstrated a line of distributed viewingsystems that it plans to sell through OEMs.

"This was the first year that we prominently displayedour OEM presence," said Thomas Ekers, vice president of productgroups and marketing.

ISG entered the medical imaging industry as a developer of3-D workstations. Its primary market was radiology. But the companyhas since broadened its focus to build products not only for radiologists,but for surgeons, imaging researchers and imaging companies inand outside the medical arena.

Philips Medical Systems was the first company to contract withISG for the development of its Gyroview workstations. ISG continuesto build Gyroview units for CT and MR customers of Philips, andhas enlisted other scanner manufacturers, film companies, PACSvendors and surgical companies as clients.

ISG showed two new medical workstation families as works-in-progressat its RSNA booth:

  • The Review Station line, targeted only at OEMs, includesa low-cost physician's review station in single- or dual-monitorconfigurations, the digital diagnosis station and the digitalalternator.

  • The Allegro Silhouette line, ISG's next generationof second-console workstations, which will be sold initially throughOEMs.

A new clinical applications package with CT angiography andother features was also shown. The package is designed for useon the company's Allegro workstation.

Branching out from its original position as supplier of a single,high-end 3-D workstation, ISG now serves several technologicallyrelated niches. The most significant of these is the firm's imagingapplications platform (IAP), a modular software system that engineerscan use to simplify and expedite the development of medical scanners.

Since IAP's launch last year, it has been used by GE for PETdevelopment (SCAN 3/10/93), Noran Instruments for its confocalmicroscopy group, Philips for MRI, GE for its nuclear medicinedivision, and Advanced NMR for development of a specialized MRscanner.

Most recently, Otsuka Electronics of Fort Collins, CO, optedto use IAP in the continuing development of its high-field MRscanner (see story below). The first applications to be developedwith IAP will be 3-D multiplanar reformatting and MR angiography.Otsuka expects to have these applications in field trials in lessthan four months.

"The incorporation of IAP into our software means ourdevelopment team is not reinventing the wheel," said DaleGrant, vice president of sales and marketing for Otsuka. "Thisleaves them free to concentrate on other aspects of the product.In this way, both the time and cost of developing advanced clinicalapplications are reduced."

Hitachi Medical Systems America of Twinsburg, OH, will offerseveral distributed viewing and reading stations built by ISG.GE's Genie nuclear medicine workstation represents a collaborativeengineering effort between GE and ISG staff.

The GE workstation was designed to allow data analysis, networkingand archiving activities in a user-friendly manner, said RichardBrown, GE manager of sales planning and support for nuclear medicine.Genie's icon-based graphic interface was designed to simplifytraining and improve productivity, he said.