Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, NY, U.S.) has announced a series of initiatives to position the company as a top-tier provider of healthcare information systems, extending its presence in the U.S. $40-billion healthcare information technology marketplace.
The initiatives include the following:
- Establishing in Rochester a world headquarters for the Healthcare
Information Systems operation within Kodak's Health Imaging Group. One of six strategic product groups in Health Imaging, Healthcare Information Systems (HCIS) develops and markets image-and-information management systems and software for use in hospital radiology departments and imaging centers.
- Kodak's plan to acquire Algotec Systems Ltd., a leading medical imaging-and-information technology company in Tel Aviv, Israel. Algotec currently assists Kodak in developing advanced picture archiving and communications (PACS) systems, such as the KODAK DIRECTVIEW PACS System 5. Following the acquisition, Algotec will play an increasingly important role in this regard.
- Accelerating HCIS product development through a double-digit percentage increase in R&D spending and a realignment of R&D resources.
- Tightening the integration of product and service offerings in HCIS and across other product lines within Health Imaging.
"We're making these investments because the healthcare information systems marketplace represents a significant global opportunity for Kodak," said Dan Kerpelman, president, Health Imaging and a senior vice president of Kodak, in a press release from the company announcing these initiatives. "We expect to claim a larger share of this market through a combination of acquisitions and Kodak-developed technology, which will help us boost sales."
Kodak said that, by the middle of next year, HCIS will have fully transitioned to its Rochester headquarters.
Kodak's acquisition of Algotec also represents a sharp new focus on research and development (R&D for HCIS products. Formed in 1993, Algotec is a recognized technology leader in medical imaging information management, processing, teleradiology and PACS. In fact, Algotec was the first company to receive FDA clearance for a Web-based PACS viewer.
The Algotec R&D team, which comprises a vast majority of the company's employee base, will become an important part of Health Imaging's global R&D organization and will continue operations as a self-contained R&D site from its principle location in Tel Aviv. "Algotec's software technology and intellectual property are among the best—if not the best—in the PACS world. This acquisition positions Kodak to develop innovative medical imaging products that can help healthcare providers enhance their operations and improve patient care," Mr. Kerpelman added.
With the Algotec acquisition, Health Imaging is also refocusing its R&D operations in the U.S. "We are concentrating Health Imaging's overall U.S. R&D in three major centers versus the five we have today," noted Michael Jackman, Chief Technology Officer and vice president of Kodak's Health Imaging Group. "The consolidation will co-locate R&D teams that work on shared projects, which will greatly increase collaboration and decrease operating costs."
"Our increased R&D presence in Rochester," he added, "will also allow us to better leverage the image science expertise of Kodak's worldwide R&D center in Rochester."
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