Polaroid plans launch this year

January 30, 1991

Polaroid has initiated the first off-site testing of its Heliosdry-processing medical imaging camera at the New England MedicalCenter in Boston, according to Leonard Aberbach, director of Polaroid'smedical systems group. Full beta testing should begin in

Polaroid has initiated the first off-site testing of its Heliosdry-processing medical imaging camera at the New England MedicalCenter in Boston, according to Leonard Aberbach, director of Polaroid'smedical systems group. Full beta testing should begin in the secondquarter and OEM qualification trials in July.

Polaroid hopes to begin commercial sales of a Helios systemproducing 8 x 10-inch transparencies in October. A camera producing14 x 17-inch images should be available a year later, Aberbachsaid.

The majority of Helios sales are expected to go to OEMs, althoughPolaroid believes there is a retrofit market for cameras purchasedby end users separately, he said.

The company will create a dedicated sales force for the systemand film on a region-by-region basis. Dedicated Helios personnelwill also provide technical support to OEMS.

Polaroid chose to market the Helios with 8 x 10-inch imagesfirst because there are no existing laser cameras in this niche.These images are used in ultrasound, nuclear medicine and C-armapplications. There is a clear segmentation between this marketand that for 14 x 17-inch transparencies used in MRI and CT, hesaid.

"We will be offering something that no one else is offeringor showing signs of offering to that community," Aberbachsaid.

Polaroid first showed the non-silver-halide laser camera asa works-in-progress at the 1989 Radiological Society of NorthAmerica meeting (SCAN 1/17/90). The system requires no chemicalsor liquids to process images.

Although a proprietary media is used with Helios, Polaroidplans to offer it at a price equal to standard film. The cameraitself is expected to retail for about $40,000, with additionalinterfaces to multiple scanners costing $5000 each, he said.

This price will place the unit above the cost of the CRT systemsbut below that of other laser imagers, he said.