Medical equipment manufacturers receive DIN-PACS contracts

November 10, 2004

The U.S. government has awarded Digital Imaging Network/Picture Archiving and Communications System (DIN-PACS) contracts to seven medical equipment manufacturers, making them eligible to supply their products to Department of Defense installations. The total value of the contracts runs in the tens of millions of dollars.

The U.S. government has awarded Digital Imaging Network/Picture Archiving and Communications System (DIN-PACS) contracts to seven medical equipment manufacturers, making them eligible to supply their products to Department of Defense installations. The total value of the contracts runs in the tens of millions of dollars.

The chosen companies are Siemens Medical Solutions, Philips Medical Systems, GE Medical Systems, IBM, Eastman Kodak, Agfa HealthCare, and Fujifilm Medical Systems. The one-year contract, which is already in effect, includes four one-year options and follows a DIN-PACS contract awarded to Agfa and IBM in the 1990s. That contract expired in 2002.

While the revenue benefits resulting from the new contract are obvious, there appear to be other implications to recipients as well.

"This gives us credibility both with the government and in the civilian marketplace," said Kodak's Don Waddelow, director of corporate sales for government. "It also sets us up to go after the government PACS/digital imaging business, an opportunity we never had before."

Some 30 companies applied for DIN-PACS, according to Waddelow. Each was required to apply for the PACS component and could apply for DR, CR, and film digitizer business as well. Kodak has contracted to supply equipment in each category.

Waddelow said it was uncertain how many DirectView PACS System 5 and DirectView CR and DR systems ultimately would be supplied to the DOD. Equipment is expected to be installed at Veterans Affairs hospitals, military bases, and other sites - perhaps even Iraq.

"It really crosses the breadth and scope of government," said Connie Meza, vice president of Kodak corporate sales. "It includes sites from Baghdad to the VA hospitals and everything in between."

According to Agfa, which provided some $100 million in supplies and services under the first DIN-PACS contract, that company's potential revenues could total $40 million per year over five years. Under terms of the contract, the company will supply its Impax PACS.

"Not only have we been successful in selling to the U.S. government, but we've also been able to leverage that success into business with other governments throughout the world," said Tim Artz, global government program director for Agfa.

Impax systems are already installed in more than 80 government medical treatment facilities and 30 ships at sea, according to Artz. Like Kodak, Agfa will supply DR, CR, and film digitizers, as well as PACS equipment.

Fujifilm plans to supply the federal government with its Synapse PACS product. Synapse was developed by the same engineering team that deployed the first military PACS project, then known as Medical Diagnostic Imaging Support (MDIS). The inherent Web-based functionality of Synapse and its wide area capabilities suit it for government facilities that require the flexibility of making images and results available to all authorized users, regardless of their location around the world, according to the company.