Sopha veterans form Segami to sell software for gamma cameras

October 28, 1998

Startup hires Diagnostix Plus as distributorIn radiology’s new managed-care environment, nuclear medicine departments are looking for ways to maximize their assets, especially large capital equipment like gamma cameras. One way to do this is

Startup hires Diagnostix Plus as distributor

In radiology’s new managed-care environment, nuclear medicine departments are looking for ways to maximize their assets, especially large capital equipment like gamma cameras. One way to do this is to buy refurbished cameras, and image processing workstation developer Segami of Ellicott City, MD, hopes to cash in on the flourishing nuclear medicine refurbishment market with its Mirage workstation line.

To this end, the company last month named Garden City Park, NY-based Diagnostix Plus as nonexclusive distributor for the workstations. Diagnostix Plus will also help Segami in its search for additional distributors.

Based on the Windows NT operating system with Pentium II processors, Mirage is a nuclear medicine computer with full SPECT capability. Segami developed the system’s software using Microsoft Visual C++ in conjunction with Dr. Michael Goris at Stanford University. In addition to an acquisition and processing format, the station comes in acquisition-only, process-only, and viewing-only modes.

Segami was established in 1995 by Sopha engineers Thierry Bréant and Craig Thompson, as well as Philipe Briandet, former vice president of R&D for Sopha Medical and now president of Segami. The three decided to start the company after Sopha merged with Summit Medical in 1994 (SCAN 6/21/95). Briandet had developed the Sopha image processing workstation, Sophy, the first 32-bit system on the market for nuclear medicine, and he brought his nuclear medicine image processing expertise to the new venture.

Not only does Segami plan to pursue clients who wish to upgrade their functional but computer-obsolete gamma camera systems, it also expects to pursue clients traditionally served by large nuclear medicine firms. The company’s workstations list at approximately $30,000, half the price of comparable products marketed by bigger vendors. Segami expects to sell about 20 workstations in the U.S. by the end of the year. The company has also sold 12 workstations in France, where it has a small office.

“We hope to sell about 50 (of the workstations) in the U.S. next year, and we really think we could go up to 100 per year without too much difficulty,” Briandet said.

Segami is also providing workstations to Canadian gamma camera developer IS2 Research of Nepean, Ontario. IS2 is using the workstations as the processing computers for its NuCamma line of digital gamma cameras (SCAN 8/5/98).

Segami would like to expand the functionality of the Mirage line, particularly for cardiology applications. Most Mirage users have been cardiologists, and the firm would like to develop a cardiology station that would also process nuclear medicine and ultrasound images, as well as support a patient database.

Briandet estimates Segami’s consolidated 1998 income will be roughly $750,000, with a before-tax profit of $50,000.