INPHACT was the first Application Service Provider (ASP) in the medical imaging market, offering an innovative turnkey PACS service to hospitals and clinics. ASP is a technical solution which allows diagnostic imaging departments to "rent" the INPHACT technology platform and includes digital acquisition equipment, information software, image distribution, and the archive needed to convert a radiology department from film to PACS.
The hospital or clinic pays a fee per procedure, a savings compared with the large capital outlay required to purchase and maintain PACS technology and have turnkey access to digital image archiving, Internet transmission of images and, a fully functional radiology information system (RIS). Thus, by spreading the cost of image archiving over several clients, each client saves the expense of purchasing and maintaining their own archive.
"We are pleased that INPHACT has chosen Agfa ADC and IMPAX equipment for its ASP model, which is a new concept for the industry", stated John Scarano, Vice President, IMPAX Solutions Sales, Agfa North America. "INPHACT has a significant technical lead in the market with a real solution which is already working in several hospitals and outpatient diagnostic centres."
The new IMPAX contract is valued at a minimum of $5 million over the next 14 months. The Agfa/INPHACT business relationship began about two years ago with INPHACT purchasing Agfa's IMPAX archive and display stations for its back office in Nashville, Tennessee, and components for several medical facilities throughout the United States. Agfa CR and PACS sales to INPHACT before the signing of this contract are estimated at $4 million.
"We believe Agfa is clearly one of the leaders in the PACS marketplace. We want to give our customers best-of-class products delivered through our ASP model", commented Jonathan L. Lehman, President and CEO of INPHACT. "We have been able to take several Agfa components and build a new technology around them. The result is that our community hospital customers can utilise the same world-class PACS technology that is available to larger institutions."
ADC, standing for Agfa Diagnostic Center, is the name of Agfa's computed radiography family of products. Fully compatible with conventional x-ray tables, it is a flexible building block for the digital radiology department. Computed radiography has many advantages, including outstanding image quality and potential reduction in patient dosage and repeats.
With IMPAX, Agfa has created a digital Picture Archive and Communication Systems (PACS) enterprise solution which combines images and information from radiology with other medical data, enhancing efficiency and lowering costs across the health care network. IMPAX solutions include diagnostic viewing, image storage and transmission, with new RIS functionality.
IMPAX Basix, designed for lower volume radiology departments, utilises the full-featured IMPAX hardware infrastructure in a scaled down version to support fewer modalities and displays. Basix is a highly modular system that is able to support multiple software modules on an appropriately scaled NT hardware platform, which provides an additional cost benefit.
Based in Nashville, INPHACT provides health care facilities and radiologists with comprehensive radiology services including turnkey digital imaging equipment service, on line digital image transmission and central archiving, professional reading services, radiology information systems, Internet transmission services, and technical support. INPHACT's existing customer base and its affiliates account for more than one third of the over 350 million total radiology procedures performed annually in the United States. In 1999, Telemedicine Today named INPHACT the top diagnostic teleradiology service provider in the United States for the third year in a row.
Agfa Corporation is the United States subsidiary of the Agfa Group, which ranks among the world's leading imaging companies. The company develops, produces and markets analogue and digital systems, primarily for the graphics industry, medical and industrial radiography, micrographics and motion picture film, and consumer imaging and photography markets.
Agfa has its headquarters in Mortsel, Belgium, employing about 22.000 people in 40 countries. Worldwide sales for 1999 were 4.7 billion Euro. In the United States, Agfa is headquartered in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, and employs 4500 people. There is more news on Agfa in the VMW article New York's Elmhurst Hospital to go digital with Agfa PACS system in the January 2000 issue.