Patient record technology steps out at ECR: Agfa introduces medAr

March 12, 2001

Agfa launched its medAr electronic patient record system at the European Congress of Radiology as part of the company's strategy to move beyond the radiology industry and into the healthcare enterprise product market. Developed by Quadrat, an

Agfa launched its medAr electronic patient record system at the European Congress of Radiology as part of the company's strategy to move beyond the radiology industry and into the healthcare enterprise product market.

Developed by Quadrat, an Agfa-owned company headquartered in Sint-Martens-Latem, Belgium, medAr encompasses six separate modules: Medfile, for enterprise-wide results distribution; QPlanner for electronic ordering of exams and appointment scheduling; QPoli for clinical examination management and coding; QdReport for report generation; Billing Link for billing; and DRG for disease-related group statistics.

MedAr has been installed in five sites in Belgium and is slated for installation in the 3500-bed hospital at the University of Montpellier, France. By the end of 2001, Agfa hopes to have 24 medAr installations completed.

The system is integrated with the Agfa RIS and PACS systems, thereby allowing the assessment of images and patient data, according to Tom De Caluwé, Quadrat business development manager.

"It's one of the advantages of the system in that it doesn't have the linking problems you can find with other systems," he said.

MedAr was shown as a work-in-progress at the 2001 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference in New Orleans. Agfa does not expect the system to be launched in the U.S. during 2001 but showed it at HIMSS to gain feedback from possible future customers and also to give attendees a chance to compare it with competing products from companies like Cerner and GE Medical. Agfa believes medAr's data security features will meet the standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), although those have yet to be finalized.

"We are in a good position competitively, as our system was designed from the beginning as an integrated, enterprise-wide product," Caluwé said. "Most of our competitors come from the results or nursing side and do not have the same smooth integration."

MedAr represents Agfa's first step in the potentially huge, $40 billion enterprise products market, according to Caluwé.

"At the moment we are staying in Belgium and France, but we will be expanding," he said.

From the March 13 edition of Diagnostic Imaging Scan, a newsletter covering the business of medical imaging.