Toshiba manager joins Cemax software effort

April 22, 1992

OEM software sales are a growing business for Cemax. The firmillustrated this fact in January by hiring a former Toshiba CTproduct manager as vice president of sales and marketing. Oran E. Muduroglu filled a slot that had been handled by presidentTerry

OEM software sales are a growing business for Cemax. The firmillustrated this fact in January by hiring a former Toshiba CTproduct manager as vice president of sales and marketing.

Oran E. Muduroglu filled a slot that had been handled by presidentTerry Ross since the Fremont, CA, company switched its businessstrategy two years ago. Cemax, formerly a supplier of proprietarythree-dimensional image processing workstations, opted in 1990to fashion its software to run on standard Sun Microsystems Unix-basedworkstations (SCAN 8/15/90).

Cemax began selling its revised software package (with or withoutthe Sun station) a year ago (SCAN 10/9/91). Sales in 1992 haveaccelerated sharply, Muduroglu told SCAN. The 10-year old companymay be in line to double its installed base this year, he said.

Cemax writes image processing and communications software forUnix platforms other than Sun, Muduroglu noted. However, the smallsoftware developer expects to gain competitive advantages by harnessingthe bulk of its business to the Sun platform.

"We are aligning ourselves with the huge progress of thecomputer graphics industry," he said. "Sun is introducinga new series of products this year, which will be running significantlyfaster than the previous series. Every year they have doubledtheir speed and halved their price."

The Cemax workstation with a Sun platform sells for slightlyunder $100,000, which is substantially less than historical pricesfor 3-D medical workstations. Hospitals that already have Sunworkstations can run the Cemax software along with other applications,he said.

While proprietary medical workstations do have specialty acceleratorsthat allow them to run faster than the standard Sun system, thisgap is closing, Muduroglu said.

"By the end of the year, we will be very close. Then thedifference (between proprietary and standard workstations) becomesthe user interface," he said.

If, as expected, Sun and other computer manufacturers continueto increase processing speed at a rapid pace, standard workstationsmay eventually step ahead of the proprietary workstations in termsof speed, he said.

A large chunk of Cemax's business these days is in areas otherthan 3-D processing, such as the provision of digital interfacesto link various installed modalities. The Cemax system also performsfunctions such as automatic filming, which can ease the flow ofimages in a medical department, he said.

Some of the firm's OEM business involves providing interfacesfor scanner vendors so they can help their customers integrateimaging systems, he said.

"This has been a new market for us over the past year,and it was fueled by the OEMs," Muduroglu said. "Ourgoal is to become a provider of medical imaging software for theOEMs of this industry."

Although Version 3.0 of the ACR/NEMA interface, which is notyet released, looks promising as a means to improve communicationbetween scanners and peripheral devices, demand for customizedinterfaces will continue, he said.

"The market has definitely slowed for new hardware acquisitionsby hospitals. Your average CT or MR scanner has been in an institutionfor at least seven years if not more, and we are seeing that (scannerlife) growing," Muduroglu said.

Cemax has had success selling a Laserlink board that providesdigital connections to Kodak, Agfa and 3M laser cameras, he said.

"We are about to introduce (an interface to) Du Pont within60 days and to Fuji within 90 days," he said.