Olicon takes on PACS marketplace

April 22, 1992

Olicon Imaging Systems of Louisville, KY, has had more successin the teleradiology market than its former parent, Raytel. Progressin the business, however, has attracted some unwanted attention,especially from competitors who are trying to make the best

Olicon Imaging Systems of Louisville, KY, has had more successin the teleradiology market than its former parent, Raytel. Progressin the business, however, has attracted some unwanted attention,especially from competitors who are trying to make the best ofits patented digital compression technology, according to DonaldLawson, president.

Olicon became an independent company from Raytel a little overeighteen months ago. At the time, it also purchased patent rightsto Raytel's PACS-related technology (SCAN 12/12/90).

The firm is negotiating with other companies over licensingrights on Raytel's PACS (picture archiving and communicationssystems) patented technology, especially that related to digitalcompression.

Olicon has taken Raytel's technology and expanded it to a newversion (4) and developed a high-resolution workstation. The companyhas not signed any licensing deals to this date. Lawson said thatthe company will be announcing some arrangements within the next90 days.

Some hardware manufacturers are potentially violating Raytel'spatents related to bus-structure-based compression of gray-scaleimages, Lawson claimed. Olicon is seeking legal advice to stopthe infringement, he said.

Olicon's technology enables transmission of digitized x-raysor ACR-NEMA standard data from digital imaging modalities to high-resolutionmonitors. Images can be transmitted over local area networks ofmost protocols and through cable, satellite and microwave systems.The company claims it can provide ACR-NEMA-based medical imagetransmission from practically any imaging system.

The firm's teleradiology progress results from its experiencein the provision of medical image archiving services to hospitalsand its streamlined management structure, Lawson said.

"We are a ground floor company, and we have extensiveexperience in providing medical imaging services to small, mediumand large hospitals," Lawson said. "Our hands-on experiencein the field helps us to understand market needs."

Olicon's business is to make medical images available to anyonewho needs them, in locations where they are actually used. Thefirm helps to transmit images out of radiology departments andinto intensive care units, cardiac care units and other locationswithin the hospital, he said.

BRIEFLY NOTED:Fischer Imaging of Denver filed a patent infringement suit againstLorad this month related to the prone stereotactic biopsy technology.Lorad intends to defend itself vigorously against the infringementallegations, according to Louis Memoli, director of product marketingand development for Lorad.

"We do not see a conflict at all. Our engineering designis much different from theirs," he said.