Kodak exits ultrasound miniPACS market

October 13, 1999

After several unsuccessful attempts to divest its ultrasound miniPACS operations, Eastman Kodak has opted to shut down this business to focus on its full-scale PACS products. Rochester, NY-based Kodak quietly announced in early October that all sales and

After several unsuccessful attempts to divest its ultrasound miniPACS operations, Eastman Kodak has opted to shut down this business to focus on its full-scale PACS products. Rochester, NY-based Kodak quietly announced in early October that all sales and manufacturing of its Access ultrasound miniPACS, ImageVue echocardiography image management system, and Kodak G4 image and information management system would cease by year’s end.

Service and support for these products will continue until the company has transitioned existing customers to other sources or products. The number of employees affected by the discontinued operations is very minor, according to Nancy Sousa, vice president of new business for Kodak’s health imaging division.

Kodak originally got into the ultrasound miniPACS business through a 1994 partnership with Nova Microsonics, then an Allendale, NJ-based subsidiary of ATL Ultrasound (SCAN 2/1/95). Nova developed both ImageVue and Access, which Kodak integrated into its PACS product line. Kodak then acquired Nova Microsonics in 1997 (SCAN 2/19/97), after ATL determined that it was not interested in providing the broad-based image management solutions many of its ultrasound customers were clamoring for.

But Kodak’s acquisition of Cemax-Icon last year as part of Imation’s medical imaging business (SCAN 12/16/98) has led to a change in the company’s image management strategy. Since completing the Imation deal, Kodak has consolidated all of its PACS business into Cemax-Icon (SCAN 3/3/99) but felt that trying to integrate the ultrasound products into Cemax as well was “not the best decision,” according to Sousa.

In addition, both Kodak and Cemax had determined that the growth of the ultrasound miniPACS market has been moderate at best, according to Gary Larson, president of Fremont, CA-based Cemax-Icon.

“The main impact on Cemax is that we now have greater resources to devote to our enterprise-wide PACS business,” Larson said.