Scitex Debuts With OEM Strategy

January 19, 1994

For a company with only two medical imaging products, Scitex MedicalSystems made its debut with a bang last month at the RadiologicalSociety of North America conference. Scitex occupied expansivebooth space and put on a full-court press at the meeting

For a company with only two medical imaging products, Scitex MedicalSystems made its debut with a bang last month at the RadiologicalSociety of North America conference. Scitex occupied expansivebooth space and put on a full-court press at the meeting to buildname recognition in the medical imaging industry.

Scitex Medical Systems and its parent, Scitex Corp., see medicalimaging as a market ripe for their technologies. The parent Scitexis already well known in the graphic arts industry, where it marketsdigital printers, cameras and scanners. Scitex Corp. is basedin Herzlia, Israel, while the subsidiary is headquartered in Fanwood,NJ.

Scitex is attempting to transfer its success into medical imagingby adapting its printer technology for clinical use and formingScitex Medical Systems to market it. The outcome of its effortsis a pair of plain-paper printers, UniTone and VariTone, whichwill be marketed through OEMs, according to Yoav Z. Chelouche,vice president of marketing and business development.

Scitex will promote UniTone and VariTone as alternatives tofilm for radiology departments making second prints for referringphysicians. The prints cost $1.25 each and are half the cost offilm, Chelouche said.

The printers use dry-processing, high-resolution ink jet technology.UniTone is a gray-scale printer capable of 1024 shades of gray,while VariTone is its counterpart for color imaging. Both printon 18 x 12-in sheets of glossy paper. Resolution is 1800 dotsper square inch. Scitex claims that the image quality of the printersis close to that of film.

"We've got the quality of film for referral purposes butat a price that is significantly less," Chelouche said.

Scitex has three beta sites working with UniTone and VariToneand plans to begin shipping the units in April, according to Chelouche.The company will market the products only through OEMs. Scitexannounced agreements with Elscint, Philips, Picker and Diasonicsat the RSNA meeting.

In addition to accepting digital outputs directly from scanners,UniTone and VariTone conform to ACR-NEMA's DICOM 3.0 standard.The printers can be linked in parallel with a laser printer toallow clinicians to print both primary and referral prints simultaneously.

UniTone and VariTone will be positioned at a price point betweenthermal printers and laser printers. Facilities that buy the printers,at a price of $40,000 for either version, should see a returnon investment after two to three years due to savings on filmcosts, according to Chelouche.

Chances are that UniTone and VariTone will not be the lastmedical imaging products from Scitex. The company plans to bringother technologies from the graphic arts industry to medical imaging.Scitex already markets image servers, archive systems and workstationsin other industries, Chelouche said. A film digitizer linked toVariTone and UniTone printers is a works-in-progress that maybe displayed at the next RSNA meeting.

The parent Scitex is a $600 million company, giving it accessto a sizable war chest to back up its aspirations in medical imaging.

"There is more to (Scitex) than meets the eye," Chelouchesaid. "There's the printer, but there's a big company behindit, there's a lot of technology that goes into it, a lot of supportcapability. We'd like people to get to know us."

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