Just when I think there are no more surprises left in this game, something comes at me from left field.
I have it on good authority that GE and Agfa have had high level talks over the past six months, and they have agreed to merge their PACS products. The new flagship offering, Centri-PAX (Centricity is GE’s system, IMPAX comes from the Agfa side) should offer the best of both worlds, without carryover of the deficiencies of each. The new hybrid will be web-based, and run on Microsoft’s .NET platform. It will eliminate the need for the separate Centricity-Web now required for web access on the GE side. Centricity users will note similar DLP’s (hanging protocols). 3D options will include the GE Advance Workstation (AW) platform, long promised to be ported to Centricity, or the Voxar/Barco 3D program. TeraRecon or Vital Images’ Vitrea may also be purchased.
Spokespeople for both companies note the unprecedented nature of this cooperation between giants in the PACS field. “This is like Ford and GM working together on a next-generation vehicle,” says Robert Pryor, President of Agfa Health Care. GE’s David Henriksen, head of GE’s PACS and IT division agrees: “For the first time in the history of PACS, the two biggest names in the business will cooperate to provide the best program available.”
Competing companies had no comment, except to urge you to note the date of this posting. Have a happy one.