Toshiba allies with McKesson on CT mini-PACS

August 21, 2006

Two IT products designed by McKesson have found their way into Toshiba America Medical Systems’ CT portfolio. The CT-specific mini-PACS products support Toshiba’s flagship Aquilion scanner. One is a low-cost archive for cardiology and the other is a scaled-down radiology PACS.

Two IT products designed by McKesson have found their way into Toshiba America Medical Systems' CT portfolio. The CT-specific mini-PACS products support Toshiba's flagship Aquilion scanner. One is a low-cost archive for cardiology and the other is a scaled-down radiology PACS.

Toshiba, which was the first to commercialize a 64-slice scanner, has kept the McKesson branding. The company is selling the IT products directly with support from McKesson. In marketing the products, TAMS is targeting imaging centers, as well as small and mid-size hospitals that are using its 64-slice CTs.

"CT represents the biggest need for us in terms of having a solution for customers who are generating large data sets," said John Zimmer, vice president of marketing for TAMS.

McKesson and Toshiba have a demonstration site, Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging Center, although it didn't arise from the partnership itself. SDMI installed the McKesson PACS and Toshiba Aquilion 64 before the two companies formalized their alliance in July.

The CT-oriented products constitute a way for Toshiba to get directly involved in PACS, while satisfying an acute need, Zimmer said.

"This way everybody gets to know each other; we understand how the companies work together," he said. "The problems that will arise, as they do in any relationship, therefore, will be small and easily resolved so we can set the groundwork for a long-term relationship."

For several years, Toshiba has provided customers with CT workstations developed by Vital Images, which also has an alliance with McKesson. Now the three companies will work together in CT. Where it will lead is uncertain, Zimmer said.

"We're only into this a month," he said.