Toshiba buys Barco's AV assets

By Erik L. Ridley, AuntMinnie.com staff writer

November 21, 2008 -- Moving to bring 3D assets in-house, Toshiba Medical Systems has inked an agreement to purchase Barco's Advanced Visualization Imaging System (AVIS) division, which develops the company's Voxar software.

Barco's Voxar software will give Toshiba an in-house 3D capability.
The acquisition, to be handled via Toshiba's newly formed wholly owned subsidiary Toshiba Medical Visualization Systems (TMVS) Europe, allows for internal development of 3D volume rendering and advanced visualization capabilities for all Toshiba modalities, according to the Tokyo-based vendor. TMVS will be based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Toshiba is quite familiar with Voxar's technology, having utilized Voxar 3D visualization software in its medical imaging products and PACS offerings for the past 10 years. Initially as Voxar, the Scottish-based AVIS group has been involved in research, development, and sales of 3D visualization software since 1991. Barco acquired Voxar in 2004 in a bid to bring together the Kortrijk, Belgium-based vendor's medical display assets with Voxar's advanced visualization technology.

Toshiba said that TMVS will serve as a medical research and development center in Europe. The acquisition will take a similar approach as the company's Toshiba Medical Research Institute USA's subsidiary, which was formed via a 2006 deal, according to the vendor.

Barco's AVIS division historically has provided its software to a number of OEM clients. TMVS will honor all contractual obligations and provide the necessary support for current customers, a Toshiba spokesperson told AuntMinnie.com.

"The company also will evaluate all aspects of the AVIS business over the next 12 months," the spokesperson said.

TMVS also expects longtime advanced visualization collaborator Vital Images to remain a key partner, according to the spokesperson. "Toshiba will continue development with Vital Images on clinical applications and, in fact, just signed a five-year distribution agreement with the company," she said.

Toshiaki Nakazato, chief specialist at Toshiba Medical's Research and Development Center, has been named president of TMVS, while former AVIS marketing director Calum Cunningham has been tapped as senior vice president and general manager.

After evaluating its business portfolio, Barco decided to concentrate all resources on the development and marketing of medical display systems for diagnostic, surgical, and clinical imaging, as well as custom-built offerings for medical OEM clients, according to the vendor.

Barco said the transaction will have a positive effect on its recent quarter, and will contribute to its previously announced cost-reduction program. The deal, which is subject to approvals from antitrust authorities, is expected to close within a few months, according to the companies.

By Erik L. Ridley
AuntMinnie.com staff writer
November 21, 2008

Toshiba gets 4D ultrasound sale, November 12, 2008

Toshiba adds Alabama install, November 10, 2008

Toshiba signs PinnacleHealth, November 3, 2008

Road to RSNA, Medical Displays, Barco, November 3, 2008

Barco brings Voxar 3D to Synapse, October 8, 2008

Copyright © 2008 AuntMinnie.com

 

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