Agfa HealthCare to connect Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust hospitals using IMPAX Data Centre

Vienna 07 March 2008Agfa HealthCare, a provider of IT-enabled clinical work flow and diagnostic imaging solutions, has been selected to provide a Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS), a Radiology Information System (RIS) and cardiology solutions to Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust. The Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals will also be sharing their clinical archives through IMPAX Data Centre, that allows the consolidation of data from disparate storage systems into one single point of storage. Agfa HealthCare's IT solutions will transform the Trust's information work flow and enable the Trust to store all forms of diagnostic digital images - both static and moving - in one data centre.

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Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust has a worldwide reputation for the diagnosis and treatment of heart and lung disease and treats patients from across the United Kingdom and internationally. It was one of the first Trusts in the United Kingdom to implement PACS, installing the current system in 1998. Over the next six to eight months, Agfa HealthCare is scheduled to install IMPAX PACS, IMPAX RIS and IMPAX Cardiovascular Suite, a suite of cardiovascular image and information management solutions, in both the Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. Even though the systems will work entirely independently of each other, IMPAX Data Centre will enable an uninterrupted and fully secured flow of data between the hospitals. It caters to the needs of enterprise storage for large, multi-site and multi-facility health care domains, by supporting the Master Patient record for a unified patient ID domain.

The deployment of the equipment represents a technical tour de force, as David Jenkins, Account Manager at Agfa HealthCare explained: "Over the next couple of months we will migrate all the data from the existing systems to one new, state-of-the-art, information system. The Trust will benefit from changes that will enhance the experience of both staff and patients alike." To manage this vast amount of data, Agfa HealthCare will use blade server technology. The blade servers are placed in a rack like books on a shelf. In conjunction with virtual machine ware, this will bring superiour availability, excellent resource management and security features to the system as well as realising environmental benefits with reduced power consumption and lower heat output.

Adam Bell, PACS Manager for Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust, stated: "Agfa HealthCare's integrated IT solution will help us to store all forms of diagnostic digital images in one data centre, which will bring about significant clinical benefits for the Trust and our patients." Graham Everson, Head of Information Services and Telecommunications at the Trust, added: "Agfa HealthCare's system will be a vital component of the Trust's overall Electronic Patient Record strategy which will make patient information available securely to our clinicians anywhere and at any time. It represents significant progress towards achieving our ultimate aim - a paper-free medical records system."

From desktop and compact solutions to groundbreaking Computed Radiography systems that fill the gap between CR and DR, Agfa HealthCare today is able to offer its customers the right solution for every facility of any size. Each solution has been developed to meet specific needs of the most demanding clinical and work flow demands and to improve the delivery of patient care.

Agfa HealthCare's extensive CR family is composed of four leading solutions, all of which have been installed successfully around the world, delivering state-of-the-art solutions in the CR field:

  • CR 30-X: The multi-application CR 30-X is a desktop, compact and convenient CR solution which is easy to install, use and maintain. The solution is ideal for decentralized environments.
  • CR 35-X: The CR 35-X is a highly versatile digitizer that is specially designed for decentralized CR environments and that has a small footprint.
  • CR-85-X: The 'do everything' CR 85-X is a multi-user digitizer, featuring a unique 10 cassette drop-and-go buffer that eliminates waiting times and maximizes productivity.
  • DX-S: The advanced DX-S solution is a groundbreaking Computed Radiography system that has created a new threshold in CR. It fills the gap in the current range of Digital Radiography solutions, by providing a unique combination of image quality, potential for dose reduction, speed and flexibility that exceeds traditional CR solutions.

The original introduction of the DX-S in 2005 was a major milestone for Agfa HealthCare and, alongside the company's CR 30-X, CR 35-X and the multi-user CR 85-X, completed Agfa HealthCare's CR portfolio, allowing it to deliver systems that meet the needs of every facility, of any size, worldwide.

David Lee, Superintendent Radiographer at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol, United Kingdom, who has actively chosen Agfa HealthCare's DX-S to meet the challenging imaging needs of trauma and orthopaedic cases, stated: "We required an exceptionally flexible Digital Radiography solution enabling us to quickly and efficiently handle the wide variety of cases we see. I've worked with a wide range of products, but so far none of them has proved as flexible or as suitable for our requirements as Agfa HealthCare's DX-S. Its versatility means for example that we can manage the most complicated and demanding polytrauma incident with ease, and can then go on to deal with an orthopaedic outpatient's 'standing knees' challenge."

The Bremen Screening Unit in Germany, which provides mammography screening services to the approximately 880.000 inhabitants in the Bremen region, selected Agfa HealthCare's CR 85-X to meet its specific challenging needs. Dr. Arno Krastel, Radiologist and Programme Manager, Bremen Screening Unit, stated: "With its cassette buffer, the CR 85-X makes it possible for our technologists to work smoothly and efficiently, with no waiting times at the device. Images are available quickly. This creates a streamlined exam work flow and a high throughput. This also means that, as a screening unit, we can carry out exams for many patients, and work cost-effectively."

All Agfa HealthCare digitizers offer the intuitive NX touch-screen interface user station, the radiographer's image identification and quality control tool. They all seamlessly integrate with PACS, RIS and HIS that comply with current medical imaging standards. MUSICA 2, Agfa HealthCare's latest intelligent and automated digital radiography image processing software, is now available for the entire CR solutions range.

"It is exciting for us to be delivering solutions for the growing and vivid CR market", stated Iskandar Accaoui, Business Unit Manager Digital Radiography at Agfa HealthCare. "As the health care industry moves from analogue to digital to IT, CR systems have become an integral part of this transformation process, delivering digital solutions that allow for advanced clinical applications and improved work flow, at a highly attractive cost of ownership. Agfa HealthCare today has over 17.500 CR solutions installed across the world and its continuing success can only stand as a testimony to our ability to deliver flexible solutions that meet the needs of every facility or specialized unit, of any size and complexity."

Agfa HealthCare announced in November 2007 that Health Canada has issued a Canadian Medical Device License, authorizing the company to sell its Computed Radiography (CR) Mammography system in Canada. More company news is available in the VMW December 2007 article Agfa Healthcare selects Sun systems to power integrated health care imaging solution.


Leslie Versweyveld

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