Kodak bids adieu to Imagelink brandin major corporate reorganization

Kodak Health Sciences name is also retired As part of sweeping organizational and strategic changes, theHealth Sciences division of Eastman Kodak has been renamed andassigned a broader mission that frees it from the limiting confinesof

Kodak Health Sciences name is also retired

As part of sweeping organizational and strategic changes, theHealth Sciences division of Eastman Kodak has been renamed andassigned a broader mission that frees it from the limiting confinesof radiological imaging.

Kodak vice president Martin Coyne announced on Feb. 14 thatthe unit will now be called the Kodak Health Imaging division.Coyne will retain the title of president, which he held as headof Kodak Health Sciences.

As part of the realignment, the Health Imaging division wasrestructured into six global businesses:

  • A hardcopy group, managed in Dallas by general manager WilliamPeck, that will manufacture and market image output devices suchas laser printers;

  • A medical imaging systems group, also in Dallas and ledby general manager Ronald Edgerton, that will handle PACS, teleradiology,and telemedicine;

  • An analog group based in Rochester, NY, that will managesales of x-ray film, screens, cassettes, and processors;

  • Two Rochester-based groups that will deal with imaging productsdesigned for the cardiology and dentistry markets, respectively;and

  • A new business development group, also based in Rochester,that will explore future opportunities.

Sigfrido Korkowski continues in his position as vice presidentand general manager of the U.S. and Canada region for Kodak HealthImaging. Likewise, vice presidents Daniel Wiersma and Marsha Lehmancontinue in their former roles as general managers of worldwidecardiology and dental businesses, respectively. Appointments formanagement of the worldwide analog and new business developmentgroups are pending.

Gil Peterson, former vice president of the Imagelink businessunit, is no longer with Kodak, Coyne said. The post has been eliminated,and its responsibilities have been dispersed to various managers.

Simultaneously, the mission of Kodak Health Imaging has beenexpanded beyond radiology and cardiology to encompass digitalimaging in ophthalmology, pathology, dermatology, microscopy,and other non-diagnostic healthcare applications, according toKodak spokesperson Dawn Beck. The division's traditional emphasison medical imaging will be expanded to medical documentation,consultation, referral, and education, she said.

Products formerly marketed under the Kodak Ektascan Imagelinkname will now carry the Kodak Digital Science logo under an initiativefirst announced at last year's Radiological Society of North Americameeting (SCAN 12/27/95). The name change takes advantage of thebrand identity Kodak is developing for all of its digital imagingproducts, Beck said.

Medical imaging products affected by the change include filmdigitizers, laser printer networks, workstations, software linkages,PC-based teleradiology, computed radiography, LAN-based imagedistribution, image acquisition and printer interfaces, and networkingfor ultrasound and nuclear medicine.

The Digital Science brand also applies to products outsidehealthcare, Beck said. It will initially be extended to digitalcameras and scanners designed for the professional photography,broadcast, motion picture, and graphic arts markets, she said.This branding strategy was launched in March 1995 and will eventuallyaffect Kodak digital imaging products designed for consumer markets(SCAN 4/12/95).

While the rise of digital imaging gave Kodak the technologicalimperative to make the changes, the consolidation of U.S. healthcareand its profound effect on price competition among vendors ofconsumable medical products led Coyne to reassess Kodak's strategicposition.

"We made these changes because our healthcare customerstoday go well beyond radiology and the radiology department. Theyget into all areas of imaging in the healthcare marketplace,"he said.

Although the reorganization recognizes the rise of digitalimaging, Coyne argues that x-ray film -- the so-called analogside of the business -- will not disappear any time soon.

"In the future, both will exist. Both businesses can beincreased in size," he said.

The name changes and associated restructuring were the thirdin a series of reforms implemented at Kodak since Coyne came onboard last September.

Earlier this month, Eastman Kodak introduced a new programthat will dramatically change its approach to x-ray film salesand distribution by cutting in half the number of dealers whosell Kodak film (SCAN 2/14/96).

In October 1995, Kodak's Dallas-based Health Imaging Systemssubsidiary was reorganized and folded into Kodak Health Sciences(SCAN 10/11/95), in part to remedy spotty success in PACS andteleradiology since Kodak acquired PACS vendor Vortech Data in1991. About 200 jobs in Dallas and Rochester were eliminated inthat move.

The Dallas facility remains the base for Kodak's teleradiologyand PACS businesses, Coyne noted. The operation involves sales,marketing, manufacturing, software development, and R&D.