Agfa, Dell Partner for Cloud-Based Image Management System
Agfa HealthCare, vendor of the Imaging Clinical Information System (ICIS) platform, announced today an agreement with Dell for the hosting of its distributed EMR image-management software; in turn, Agfa will offer ICIS as well as the Dell Cloud Clinical Archive Portfolio. Agfa says that hosting its software in a cloud space allows for the electronic management of patient image records from departments of various origins within a single software suite, and that Dell was the backbone partner most suitable for the task. “Dell has the expertise, market recognition, and a competitive pricing model that we were looking for,” Lenny J. Reznik, Director of Enterprise Imaging and Information for Agfa HealthCare, tells Imagingbiz. Reznik says Agfa selected Dell based on its global healthcare IT presence, which is underscored by a one-time-payment model he feels is superior to pay-as-you-go arrangements. By hosting its ISIS solutions suite in a cloud-based architecture, Reznik says, Agfa opens up its prospective customer base to include “a lot of hospitals that couldn’t otherwise afford it.” “It really is 30 other departments that are generating images,” he says. “We estimate about 30 different departments in an average-sized hospital.” Reznik says the announcement is “really just the start of what you’re going to see AGFA doing with Dell.” “The government is spending billions of dollars on EMRs, and we’re really getting ready for the post-EMR world, which means getting medical images inside of an EMR," he says. "You’re going to see more and more about how the cloud enables hospitals to meet the challenges that are going down,” Reznik says. "It’s not just hype. Our customers of all sizes, especially the larger ones, are really looking to cloud technology to help them.” James Coffin, VP and GM of Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences, says that one of his missions upon joining Dell was to bring the company into the digital healthcare space, and the agreement with Agfa furthers that mission. “It’s important to play with the biggest vendors in the space," he says. "Agfa is a major player in the U.S. and the biggest player in Europe.” According to Coffin, Dell boasts 30,000 physicians in its cloud, 500 companies in its major data centers, and is making inroads into the HIT security sphere, which he foresees as the next frontier for EMR. For now, however, he says the agreement will help Dell and Agfa push into mid-tier and smaller hospitals, where there is room for growth. “Ultimately the technologies that we provide to the marketplace need to meet the business and clinical needs of various hospital departments,” he says. “Our job is to supply the IT infrastructure and the clinical apps that will allow them to do their job.”