QStar launches PACS ‘appliance’

November 25, 2007

A newcomer to the RSNA exhibit floor has introduced an all-in-one PACS solution with a beginning list price of just $15,000. But while QStar Technologies may be new to the annual Chicago meeting, it is a 20-year veteran of the IT business and a mainstream supplier of storage equipment to PACS vendors.

A newcomer to the RSNA exhibit floor has introduced an all-in-one PACS solution with a beginning list price of just $15,000. But while QStar Technologies may be new to the annual Chicago meeting, it is a 20-year veteran of the IT business and a mainstream supplier of storage equipment to PACS vendors.

Its new SyntryPACS appliance builds on these strengths, as QStar engineers layered PACS on top of an archive to create an all-in-one appliance priced for imaging operations with few dollars to spare. Most PACS are done the other way around, according to Jim Wheeler, QStar director of marketing and business development. Developers come up with a PACS first and then add storage or leave customers to add that piece.

"Because it's an appliance, SyntryPACS is an all-encompassing solution. It is very easy to install. Hospitals themselves don't have to go off and think, 'I need this piece and that piece,'" Wheeler said. "This gives them the basic functionality plus an archive platform."

The company is positioning SyntryPACS as a low-cost, efficient means for storing and retrieving medical imaging studies. The company is looking for a specific kind of customer.

QStar's product embeds PACS and storage management software into the server, allowing automated rule-based secure routing of images and advanced replication features. Hooked into an existing network, it can be accessed from online workstations throughout the clinic or hospital. It is both DICOM- and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant.

"We're after the small business market," Wheeler said. "The imaging center and clinics with three or fewer modalities have to meet the same requirements (for record and image retention) as the large hospitals, but they don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to throw at the problem."

SyntryPACS storage options are modular, allowing facilities to configure the initial setup however they want, he said. If storage needs increase, more capacity can be added. Facilities might begin with a very low cost tape or optical drives featuring removable media, expanding with RAIDs or more sophisticated and costly components.

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