Kodak Unveils Remote Service Component at SCAR
Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, N.Y.) was among the more than 100 vendors exhibiting at the 19th annual meeting of Symposium for Computer Applications in Radiology (SCAR of Great Falls, Va.) in Cleveland in May.

 The company used the occasion to launch its new Kodak DirectView Secure Remote Service Access (SRSA) offering, designed to provide a secure, high-speed link to Kodak PACS (picture archiving and communications system), digital radiography (DR) and computed radiography (CR) systems. SRSA would permit service and preventative maintenance tasks to be performed remotely.

SRSA involves creation of a virtual private network (VPN) that Kodak personnel use to access systems using the Internet.

“What we’re launching initially is tied into Kodak equipment service,” says Steve Romocki, worldwide marketing manager for digital products, Health Imaging division. “This links in the Kodak service piece, through the Kodak service engineer who may be a half-day’s drive away. They could dial in, come through the Kodak tunnel and log into the Kodak system, authenticate who they are, come through on the Internet, look at what’s going on in the hospital and service the equipment.

Webbed Wheels

webworm.jpg (8160 bytes)It’s hard to imagine anyone would be more equipped to travel in wet, murky road conditions than a worm, but there is a select breed of humans who enjoy traveling in such conditions — perhaps even more so than worms. These people are daring. They are bold. They are wet. And they owned Amphicars.

The Amphicar was an amphibious automobile built in Germany between 1962 and 1967. Only 4,500 were produced, and at least 3,700 of those hopped the pond to the U.S. market. Today, there are a mere 500 hearty souls traversing in these mobiles and the wiggly wet Web navigator wants to find them!

 To help in that search (as you probably have guessed), the Worm goes to www.amphicars.com, a site dedicated solely to the history and current availability of the Amphicar. The site has puddles of information about these short-lived cars including pictures, history and a page for advertising the sale of Amphicars and/or hard-to-find-parts. Techies will love diving into the pages of technical information, including how to change a driveshaft and fitting rear seat belts.

The Web Worm especially liked the information about the other amphibious vehicles available, including the current offerings like the SeaRoader and the Land Shark.


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Polliwog Patrol
It’s not easy being green.

 Kermit’s words may have turned out to be more prophetic than any of us ever realized. Due to their porous skin, frogs are more sensitive to their surroundings than many other animals and growing threats like pollution, non-native species and impacts from increased ultraviolet radiation have had a serious negative effect on the frog population. It’s about time we started looking out for our slimy little amphibious friends.

Enter Frogwatch USA, a frog and toad monitoring program started by U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in 1999. And the USGS needs you! Volunteers are needed to watch and collect data on the frog populations here in the United States. According to the USGS Web site, volunteers have to learn the “life histories” and the voices of their local frogs and toads, select safe and convenient wetlands to monitor, and then monitor those sites by “frogwatching” or listening for three minutes for frogs and toads after dusk. Results can then be submitted via the USGS Web site, www.frogwatch.org.

Perhaps with all this amphibian monitoring, we will finally find that ever-elusive Rainbow Connection.

McKesson Bids to Buy A.L.I.
McKesson Corp. (San Francisco) recently announced that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire A.L.I. Technologies Inc. (Vancouver, B.C., Canada), by means of a cash tender offer for approximately $340 million (CN$43.50 per share or approximately CN$530 million).

A.L.I. provides enterprise medical imaging solutions, including PACS (picture archiving and communications systems). The acquisition is expected to close within 90 days and is subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions. It is expected to be accretive to McKesson earnings per share in fiscal 2003.

For the 12 months ending March 31, 2002, A.L.I. reported sales of CN$56 million, with revenue growth in its most-recent quarter of 108 percent compared to a year ago.

Teltron Acquires AMLCD Technology, Expands Plant
Teltron Technologies Inc. (Birdsboro, Pa.) has acquired the inventories and proprietary intellectual properties for active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) enhancement from Pacific Aerospace & Electronics Inc., Displays division.

As a result of the acquisition, Teltron will expand its capabilities to include laminating LCD displays with various performance-altering augmentations, such as anti-reflective (AR) coatings. Such coatings enable displays to be more rugged and thus suitable for use in harsh environments, such as military and medical installations.

“Normal flat panels are not coated; you ruin them when you lean on them or touch them,” explains Clyde A. Mock, marketing manager for Teltron Technologies. “[Coatings] allow them [flat-panels] to be more easily used in other applications where they need to be rugged, like the operating room and other medical and industrial uses.”

Franek Revamps Web Site, Offers RFQ, ROI Features
Franek Technologies Inc. (FTI of Tustin, Calif.) has launched a revamped Web site that the company says will help the laboratory and instrumentation market manage critical utilities.

Among the site’s new features is a RFQ (request for quote) section. Customers to this section can specify multiple instrument model numbers for their equipment and request a quote for the exact laboratory protection systems required for their instrumentation.

Other features include an analysis tool that assists users in determining their ROI (return on investment) for a certified laboratory protection system, case studies, a “Frequently Asked Questions” section, FTI’s journal articles, and links to associated industry and government Web sites.   

Nexterna to Provide Field-Service Management for Patterson Dental
Wireless mobile resource management provider Nexterna Inc. (Omaha, Neb.) recently signed an agreement to provide its Clearview service management system to Patterson Dental Company (Mendota Heights, Minn.), a distributor of dental and veterinary products.

The agreement calls for implementation of the Nexterna Clearview system for Patterson Dental’s service organization and its 650 service technicians in field offices throughout the United States.

Comdisco Files Reorg Plan
Comdisco Inc. (Rosemont, Ill.) has taken another step on its road to bankruptcy recovery. The healthcare, technology and leasing company on April 26 filed its reorganization plans and disclosure statement with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The proposed reorganization would have Comdisco divided into three primary operating subsidiaries — Comdisco U.S. Leasing Company, Comdisco Europe Holding Company, and Comdisco Ventures Company. Comdisco subsidiary Prism Communications Services Inc. (New York City), along with 34 of its direct and indirect subsidiaries, will be consolidated into another entity.

Comdisco’s reorganization plan includes reducing its U.S. work force over 30 to 60 days by approximately 180 positions, or approximately 20 percent of its total workforce. About 80 percent of the reductions are planned for Comdisco’s Rosemont corporate headquarters.

CMIA Appoints Officers
The California Medical Instrumentation Association (CMIA) announces the following appointments:

Bill Knight, president of the CMIA, Capitol Chapter, has been appointed chairman pro tem. In appointing Knight to the position, chairman Mike Speer ensured Knight’s appointment as next year’s chairman, subject to final ratification at the group’s annual election and awards banquet in January 2003.

Two Choose USCS to Manage Assets
USCS Equipment Technology Solutions, a division of U.S. Counseling Services Inc. (Brookfield, Wis.), has been selected by two AmeriNet members to help reduce their asset management costs.

Laurel Health System (Tioga County, Pa.) and Albert Lindley Lee Memorial Hospital (Fulton, N.Y.) have chosen the USCS Lifecycle Managed Maintenance Program to help reduce equipment maintenance expenses.

Lifecycle addresses various phases of the equipment lifecycle. Features include the Managed Maintenance system of reducing equipment maintenance costs and Equipment Acquisition Resource, which provides in-depth analysis of capital equipment proposals.

 Mark Scalise Named VP Sales and Marketing, Kinetic Biomedical Services
Kinetic Biomedical Services Inc. (Erie, Pa.) recently appointed Mark Scalise vice president of sales and marketing.

In his new position, Scalise will be responsible for directing the marketing of the company’s contract, maintenance and repair service to national health care facilities, group purchasing organizations (GPOs) and integrated networks.

A story in the April Browser section regarding the Medical Equipment Repair Associates (MERA) Web site incorrectly referred to the alliance of more than 50 firms as MERAffiliates Inc. The members are called MERAffiliates, but no entity bears the name MERAffiliates Inc.

DMS Imaging Buys Computed Imaging Service
DMS Imaging, a member of the DMS Health Group (Fargo, N.D.) last month purchased Computed Imaging Service Inc. (Houston).

The transaction involved the exchange of Otter Tail Corp. common stock and cash, but no other details of the deal were available. Otter Tail Corp. (Fergus Falls, Minn., and Fargo, N.D.) is the parent company of Varistar Corp., of which DMS Health Group is a subsidiary.

Computed Imaging Service Inc. was founded in 1986 as an independent service organization (ISO) specializing in installation and maintenance of computed tomography (CT) scanners in the Houston area. It had grown to include mobile CT and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) mobile services. It also offered interim rentals, as well as sales and service of new, used and refurbished diagnostic imaging equipment.

Baxter Planning Signs Agilent
Baxter Planning Systems Inc. (Austin, Texas) has inked an agreement with Agilent Technologies (Palo Alto, Calif.) to implement the Baxter distribution planning application across Agilent’s business units.

Baxter will provide its Prophet distribution-planning tool for global service parts support of Agilent’s three business units. Under the terms of the deal, Baxter will provide all hardware, software, and database and system administration for the project, as well as ongoing production and planning support and consulting services.

Mystery Fluoroscope? ‘There is no mystery!’

by Marie S. Marchese

 A message left on my office phone several weeks ago intoned: “A guy in Connecticut sent me a copy of your March 24×7 because of “The Fluoroscope Mystery Revealed” story. I read the article and the first thing I said was, ‘What mystery? There is no mystery!’”

That was my introduction to Anthony Palermo, 75, of Cleveland, Ohio. Palermo, it turns out, retired from Picker International in 1994 after having spent 40-plus years with the company in various engineering and engineering management positions.

Palermo was calling about the March story that assembled the pieces of the Picker T-10 vertical fluoroscope puzzle, in answer to a question from veteran radiology service engineer John Tice, of St. John’s Health System in Anderson, Ind. Tice, who happened across the machine while helping a friend clear out a physician’s office, sent photos, hoping for more information on the fluoroscope’s vintage. The August 2001 issue of 24×7 posed the original question: “Have you seen this machine?”

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