CHICAGO - PACS and film vendor Agfa is hoping to duplicate its success in selling large-scale PACS by targeting the market for smaller digital image management installations. The Ridgefield Park, NJ, company is introducing Impax Basix, a new Windows NT version of the company's Unix-based Impax software.
Impax Basix is designed to be a starter PACS for smaller hospitals and outpatient imaging facilities that are thinking about joining the rush to digital image management. Facilities can get started with Impax Basix for an initial investment of as low as $400,000, then scale up as their needs grow.
Impax Basix is just one of several product lines Agfa is highlighting at this week's RSNA conference. The company also is introducing Embedded IS, an option for Impax that incorporates the functions of a RIS into PACS software. Agfa is also highlighting Impax for Cardiology, a version of Impax optimized for heart imaging. The Embedded IS option will be launched in mid 2000, while Impax for Cardiology will hit the market in the spring.
The vendor is also showing off its efforts at integrating the operations of Sterling Diagnostic Imaging, which Agfa acquired earlier in 1999. One of the fruits of the collaboration is a new high-definition mammography film-screen system, according to Agfa spokesperson Thomas Colucci. Sterling had been developing a new mammography screen system, which made a good match for Agfa's mammography film. The resulting system provides high resolution at low dosage levels, Colucci said.
Agfa's line of film processors also got a boost through the addition of Sterling printers. Agfa has renamed the Sterling products the Drystar Inkjet line, which includes the high-resolution Drystar Inkjet 400, as well as the DryStar Inkjet 100 model, designed to produce referring-physician prints.
Computed radiography is also high on Agfa's RSNA agenda. The company has lowered the price of its ADC Solo reader, and will offer it as a stand-alone product to small hospitals and imaging centers. In the past, Agfa has emphasized CR primarily as a component of an Agfa PACS installation.
In other Agfa CR news, the company on Nov.29 announced that it has reached a deal to supply ADC Solo and ADC Compact to GE Medical Systems of Waukesha, WI. The agreement is for three years and covers most of the world, the companies said.
By AuntMinnie.com staff writers
December 1, 1999
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