PACS partners converge with Loral buyout of Gammasonics

September 14, 1994

New firm plans debut of scalable version of MDISLoral and Siemens Gammasonics finally tied the knot last month.The firms announced the signing of a definitive merger agreementin which Loral will acquire all Gammasonics stock from parentSiemens.

New firm plans debut of scalable version of MDIS

Loral and Siemens Gammasonics finally tied the knot last month.The firms announced the signing of a definitive merger agreementin which Loral will acquire all Gammasonics stock from parentSiemens. Loral has formed a new subsidiary, Loral Medical ImagingSystems, which will be based at Gammasonics headquarters in HoffmanEstates, IL.

Loral and Siemens Gammasonics have been partners in the MedicalDiagnostic Imaging Support (MDIS) project, a massive effort todigitize U.S. Army and Air Force hospitals. The merger of thefirms has been anxiously awaited by PACS industry observers sincethe companies acknowledged late last year that they were exploringan expansion of their cooperation in high-end PACS (SCAN 12/15/93).

Although the two companies took their time, the merger eventuallywas consummated. Loral will acquire all of the MDIS software developmentteam, about 100 employees who will continue to be housed in thesame building as Siemens' nuclear medicine group at Hoffman Estates.Gammasonics was split off from the nuclear medicine group lastyear (SCAN 4/7/93). Siemens will keep the Sienet PACS line, alower end product distinct from the premium MDIS system.

Loral Medical Imaging Systems will be headed by Anthony Lombardo,who was tapped earlier this year to lead Loral's foray into themedical industry. Lombardo headed Philips' international PACSbusiness until 1991 (SCAN 1/16/91).

Loral has big plans for the medical field and will not restrictitself to radiology, Lombardo told SCAN.

"Our core strength will be in information management systemintegration," he said. "Our systems in the future willaddress the cost drivers in health care. The scope will not belimited to radiology."

Loral is developing a smaller, modular version of MDIS designedfor health-care facilities that do not have the resources of theU.S. military. Loral tentatively calls the product its scalableserver system and plans to feature the technology at the RadiologicalSociety of North America meeting in November.

"It is a hardware configuration of servers that lowersthe cost and increases performance of MDIS," Lombardo said."A wider section of the industry will be able to take advantageof the investment in MDIS technology."

The deal is expected to close by the end of this month. Loraldid not disclose financial terms of the acquisition.