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Kodak moves to consolidate PACS business into Cemax-Icon division


Kodak moves to consolidate PACS business into Cemax-Icon divisionCemax-Icon technology to make up bulk of new PACS familyEastman Kodak has begun to bring its house in order following the acquisition of Imation's medical imaging business

Kodak moves to consolidate PACS business into Cemax-Icon division

Cemax-Icon technology to make up bulk of new PACS family

Eastman Kodak has begun to bring its house in order following the acquisition of Imation's medical imaging business (PNN 12/98). The firm has elected to move its PACS efforts to its new PACS subsidiary Cemax-Icon.

As a result of the move, all development, marketing, sales, manufacturing, and service for Kodak's PACS operations in the U.S. and Canada will be handled at Cemax-Icon's Fremont, CA, headquarters. The PACS business includes workstations, archives, network interfaces, gateways, and film digitizers. In Europe, Kodak will distribute, sell, service, and market the Cemax-Icon products. Plans for the rest of the world are still being developed. Cemax-Icon will function as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Product integration plans are also progressing. While some elements of Kodak's PACS family will be continued, Cemax-Icon technology will make up the majority of the offerings going forward.

Cemax-Icon's Archive Manager and AutoRad workstations will continue as the heart of the product line. The strong collaborative workflow abilities of those products led to the decision, said Cemax-Icon president and CEO Gary Larson. A 3M and Imation veteran, Larson replaced former president and CEO Terry Ross in November.

Cemax-Icon, however, will continue to support and provide Kodak's Digital Science Medical Viewing Station, which is supplied on an OEM basis by Dutch PACS software developer Applicare Medical Imaging. While Cemax-Icon expects that the workstation will be used primarily for secondary image viewing applications such as clinical image review in ER/ICU environments, it will provide the product to customers who wish to expand their current installations, Larson said.

Cemax-Icon's ClinicalAccess product will serve as the firm's clinical referral and teleradiology application. Kodak's Medical Image Manager image acquisition device will also be continued due to its strength in supporting printing applications, Larson said.

A key benefit of the integration is the ability of Cemax-Icon to offer Kodak's printing and computed radiography systems, Larson said. The company will also be able to offer customers one-stop shopping for PACS, CR, and printing purchases.

"If a customer wants to purchase a PACS that includes a CR and a DryView printer, and wants to place one purchase order, we will facilitate that," Larson said. "In addition, we are now part of a company that has a significant presence in the CR world and laser imaging. We have the opportunity to integrate them and add features and functionality that will more tightly integrate CR with PACS."

The Kodak/Cemax-Icon team has begun communications with Kodak PACS customers and will be diligent in offering transition and upgrade plans, Larson said.

Kodak's Dallas-based PACS group will retain engineering staff related to the continued product lines, and will report to Cemax-Icon. Customer service and support functions will also be maintained to provide support to Kodak's installed base. Over time, Kodak expects to see some staff restructuring at that location as a result of the move.

The company's Allendale, NJ-based ultrasound miniPACS business, which houses the firm's Access radiology product line and echocardiography image management offerings, will remain an independent entity, however. There will be collaboration between Cemax-Icon and that group, and discussions are beginning in order to determine how it will fit into the business long-term, Larson said.

Larson will report to Dan Wiersma, director of Kodak's newly created digital medical business and a vice president of Kodak's health imaging division. Wiersma also has responsibility for the ultrasound miniPACS efforts and new business opportunities. He reports to Nancy Sousa, general manager and vice president of new businesses for the health imaging division.

The decision by Kodak to consolidate most of its PACS business into the Cemax-Icon organization is a strong vote of confidence in the Cemax-Icon product line, and also a statement about Kodak's own PACS business, which has proceeded in fits and starts and undergone several rounds of reorganization over the years.

"This is the smartest move Kodak has ever made in PACS," said Michael Cannavo, president of Image Management Consultants of Winter Springs, FL. "The Cemax-Icon product line is very solid, and it puts Kodak in a much stronger position than they were before."

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