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Voxar pursues global objectives through deals with PACS vendors


Efforts intensify to increase access to 3DVoxar is determined to become a dominant power in 3D, as a provider of both stand-alone tools and PACS software. It plans to achieve this through the development of products that run on

Efforts intensify to increase access to 3D

Voxar is determined to become a dominant power in 3D, as a provider of both stand-alone tools and PACS software. It plans to achieve this through the development of products that run on inexpensive workstations and are easily integrated within separate vendors' PACS and other IT systems, according to Andrew Bissell, Voxar's founder and CEO.

"Whether our brand is there on the front of the box or tucked away in a dialogue box somewhere doesn't matter to us," he said. "Our goal is to be the default 3D, so if you're looking for a PACS, you'll expect 3D to be there, and pretty much universally the PACS vendor will have already chosen Voxar 3D."

One means to this end is to establish an increased presence in the U.S. market, which the Scottish company hopes to achieve through a new office in Boston to handle sales, marketing, and customer services for North America. The office will offer new help desk and technical support facilities, while functioning as a base for the company's expanding network of U.S. regional sales specialists, according to company sources.

Voxar has partnership agreements with vendors that together cover 50% and 60% of the U.S. and European PACS markets, respectively. The company also signed a deal in November with Central Data Networks for its flagship software package, Voxar 3D, to be integrated into the Australian company's PACS.

Known formerly as Plug n View 3D, the renamed and updated Voxar 3D is being promoted for its improved ease of use and clinical applicability. New features on version 4.1, launched officially at the RSNA meeting, include rapid correction of misaligned scans to standard orientation, faster setup for curved multiplanar reformatting, 3D color volume-rendered slabs, targeted 3D volume review, and easier bone subtraction.

A new concurrent site-licensing approach, unveiled in Chicago, will let institutions run Voxar 3D software on multiple PACS workstations and stand-alone networked PCs. Costs are kept low because the software is built around Windows, allowing hospital-wide access to 3D imaging for the same price as just one or two dedicated workstation solutions, Bissell said.

"There is no doubt in my mind that patient outcome is improved when 3D functionality is available to every doctor wherever they need it, whenever they need it," he said.

While Bissell regards Voxar 3D as the core product in the company's business, he also recognizes the value of specialized 3D software. Voxar's Colonscreen and Calscreen packages are specifically tailored for CT colonography and calcium scoring. Future specialist software will likely be geared toward delivering structured workflows and speeding up highly complex postprocessing, he said.

Bissell remains cautiously optimistic about Voxar's continued growth into 2003. This year saw the company named as Scotland's fastest growing technology company (Deloitte & Touche Technology Fast 50), the fastest growing unquoted software developer in the U.K. (ARM/Sunday Times), and one of Europe's top 10 emerging private technology companies (Tornado Insider 100).

"We want to be convinced that every time we take on a new territory or do something new we can deliver the levels of customer service that we pride ourselves on, and at the same time make money from it," Bissell said.

Continued software development could involve licensing-in "best of breed" applications from external vendors, he said.

"There are some fantastic companies doing work in things like image fusion, image registration, quantitative analysis, computer-aided detection," Bissell said. "We'd very much like to be able to partner with a number of these companies and work with them to give them market access in our PACS vendor relationships."

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