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Lumisys develops plan for Affordable CR product


Lumisys develops plan for Affordable CR productNot long ago, the x-ray film digitizer business was a booming sector. But times have changed, and so has Lumisys, which, until recently, has been known exclusively in the PACS market as a digitizer

Lumisys develops plan for Affordable CR product

Not long ago, the x-ray film digitizer business was a booming sector. But times have changed, and so has Lumisys, which, until recently, has been known exclusively in the PACS market as a digitizer firm.

Driven by declining long-term prospects for x-ray film digitizers, Lumisys has undergone a number of diversification moves in the last 18 months, including the purchase of PACS and teleradiology vendor CompuRad (PNN 10/97) and a decision to bring a low-cost computed radiography reader to the medical market (PNN 5/97).

The CR product, called ACR-2000, is set for a big rollout at the 1998 Radiological Society of North America meeting. In an innovative twist, Lumisys hopes to create a new low-end computed radiography niche with its storage phosphor-based system. The reader weighs only 75 pounds and will cost approximately $50,000.

"It's designed for places that will never be able to afford a Fuji-style CR or, for other reasons, may not want one," said Dr. Philip Berman, president.

For example, freestanding imaging centers and remote clinics might benefit from ACR-2000, which could provide a good value proposition compared with film processors, he said. On the ACR-2000, an NT-based PC serves as the system's controlling device, providing support for DICOM and local area networking, as well as image processing and compression, Berman said. The same application that runs the ACR-2000 also runs the firm's DI-2000 NT-based digitizer interface (PNN 7/98).

Lumisys also envisions that some sites might be interested in employing ACR-2000 as a redundancy device for traditional CR readers. In the event of failure on those readers, physicians could employ ACR-2000 instead of having to return to film-screen radiography, Berman said.

The company has no desire to expand into higher end systems, however.

"We have no plans, expectations, or wishes to recreate what Kodak, Fuji, and Agfa have done," he said. "Our entire ethos is a value proposition."

To commemorate the launch of ACR-2000, Lumisys vice president of channel development and sales Scott Evers is traveling around the country in a yellow new Volkswagen Beetle to demonstrate the unit to clinics, hospitals, OEMs, VARs, and systems integrators. The trip will wrap up at the RSNA meeting.

In other Lumisys news, the company has made some changes to its management team. CFO and COO Craig Klosterman has left the firm to join Informatica, a private software company. Klosterman will be replaced as CFO by Dean MacIntosh, a three-year Lumisys veteran who previously served as vice president of finance.

In addition, Duncan Moffat has been appointed to the newly created position of vice president of operations. Moffat, who comes to Lumisys from a director of manufacturing post at Lucas Decco, will direct operations at the company's Sunnyvale, CA, headquarters, including providing advanced manufacturing engineering and customer support.

The company's Imagraph subsidiary has also released Hi*DEF Accura, the Chelmsford, MA-based firm's new highest performance frame grabber. HI*DEF Accura features +-0.5 ns pixel jitter, 10-bit image acquisitions, and up to 150 MHz pixel rate, according to the company. It has a list price of $2995.

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