Kodak Health turns into Carestream Health

May 2, 2007

The Kodak Health Group is no more, but the Kodak brand will live on in the form of Carestream Health.

The Kodak Health Group is no more, but the Kodak brand will live on in the form of Carestream Health.

The metamorphosis occurred on schedule May 1 following the completion of a deal between Eastman Kodak and Canadian holding company Onex, which acquired the business for about $2.35 billion in cash and the assumption of debt.

Carestream Health will continue to use the Kodak brand in concert with product names such as Carestream and DirectView, according to Todd Minnigh, worldwide director of marketing.

"We will retain the Kodak brand name because that is the name our customers have come to know and associate with our products," he told DI SCAN. "The brand has years of heritage going back to when George Eastman provided product to Roentgen and other investigators in the x-ray business."

Minnigh will use the Kodak legacy and existing infrastructure to leverage more than 8000 employees and distribution channels in 150 countries. Carestream's $2.5 billion in annual sales come from products already used in 90% of hospitals and dental practices around the world. Three quarters of the company's revenue comes from products that hold a number-one market position.

"Our whole purpose now is to build products that improve healthcare, especially workflow in healthcare," he said. "Becoming Carestream Health allows us to focus 100% on our customer base and to build the things customers need in the future."

A near-term priority is to establish Carestream as a common term in the medical community. The company has put in place a marketing campaign to do that, involving trade shows and advertising in trade publications and on websites.

The company will home in on distinctions and strengths in its product line, such as the ability to provide both computed and digital radiography equipment.

"DR is a great way to build workflow and CR is a wonderfully flexible tool, which makes for a great way to retrofit a department or to do portables," Minnigh said. "It is fair to say that customers need both."

Carestream Health boasts a 40% share of CR systems being sold in the U.S. and Canada and claims a rapidly growing share of the DR market.

"The real advantage we bring is the ability to integrate CR and DR," he said. "You can use a CR cassette in the middle of a DR study with a Kodak system."

Carestream IT products, specifically its PACS, RIS, and information management solutions, will build on this digital foundation, as well as an industry leading position in the $3.5 billion global market for medical film and printer products, Minnigh said.