Remote service keeps scanners up

April 24, 1991

GE Medical Systems's remote scanner servicing program is not partof a strategy to protect the vendor's service software by keepingit off site, said Jeff Schaper, GE general manager of servicemarketing. Rather, the InSite system is one of the medical

GE Medical Systems's remote scanner servicing program is not partof a strategy to protect the vendor's service software by keepingit off site, said Jeff Schaper, GE general manager of servicemarketing. Rather, the InSite system is one of the medical imagingOEM's advanced service programs developed to speed the repairprocess and boost scanner uptime, he said.

"InSite was developed to help our customers," Schapertold SCAN. "It is one of the (service programs) that we haveinvested a lot of money in and that differentiate us from (service)competitors," he said.

Some independent service organizations view the process ofseparating service software from scanners as a tactic to denyISOs access to this software. GE engineers are able to dial intoa diagnostic center and have the service software downloaded throughthe phone lines into the imaging system. When the engineer hascompleted the service, the software is wiped out of the scanner'smemory (SCAN 11/21/90).

GE maintains that InSite can help a scanner site deal withproblems before a service engineer has to be called in, thus preventingcrashes.

"The program was developed to enhance the speed of therepair operation and maximize customer uptime," Schaper said."This can be done remotely rather than by sending field engineersout on basic service calls. The first line of service can nowbe handled remotely."

GE may not need remote servicing to protect its advanced servicesoftware if it continues to have success defending its copyrights.The settlement of three ISO suits last month acknowledged thevendor's proprietary rights to efficiency programs and other advancedsoftware (SCAN 4/10/91).

BRIEFLY NOTED:

  • Picker International of Cleveland and Voluntary Hospitalsof America Supply Company have entered into a unique scanner serviceagreement. The medical imaging vendor will offer VHA member hospitalsfree upgrades as well as "price protection" and specialservice pricing in return for the service business on Picker computedtomography, x-ray and nuclear medicine scanners.

"The program marks the first time a hospital allianceand a diagnostic equipment manufacturer have launched a serviceprogram," said Norm Boisclair, general manager of Picker'sservice division.