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Samsung makes play for U.S. PACS market

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U.S. service provider to lead sales effortSamsung SDS America wants to establish a beachhead in the U.S. medical imaging market. The Korean electronics giant has turned to Ultimate Medical Services of Lake Charles, LA, to

U.S. service provider to lead sales effort

Samsung SDS America wants to establish a beachhead in the U.S. medical imaging market. The Korean electronics giant has turned to Ultimate Medical Services of Lake Charles, LA, to distribute its Raypax system. Samsung is counting on the six-year-old company to leverage its roots in the x-ray and CT service market. It was this grounding in the imaging marketplace that sold Samsung on the company.

"Our downtime is low, our customer service is good, and when Samsung talked with some of our customers, things just came together," said Ultimate Medical founder and CEO Kevin Fix.

If all goes according to plan, the 20 or so Raypax systems now operating worldwide could grow to nearly 40 by year-end, he said.

Raypax was released commercially in 2000. It was originally developed for a large medical center in South Korea, and countries with currently installed systems include China and Vietnam. The first U.S. installation was completed in 2001.

"We're looking to have 16 systems installed and running in the U.S. this year in addition to the six or so that are already in place," Fix said.

As distributor, Ultimate will leverage its administrative and service-oriented base. The company's workforce will double from 14 to nearly 30 employees. Ultimate will also use about a dozen dealerships nationwide on behalf of Samsung. Fix expects the effort to have a major impact on his company's revenues.

"We currently bring in about $3 million to $5 million a year," he said. "Before this project, my goal was to double revenues in the next five years. My feeling now is that we'll reach this goal three years ahead of time."

Fix plans to position Raypax as a scalable system with an open architecture, one that provides an efficient alternative to traditional methods of managing films in a medical facility. Ultimate Medical will target the small to midsize hospital market. Those with only a modest investment in IT will be the best candidates.

"We have a radiology information system integrated with Raypax, so our customers will be buying a complete solution," he said.

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