Business, cardiology  

Agfa launches new cardiology portfolio on the back of Heartlab acquisition

7 September 2005

Stockholm, Sweden. Agfa HealthCare Business Group has launched a new cardiology portfolio that provides a single point of access and integrates cardiology, radiology and wider clinical systems. The portfolio includes Agfa Heartlab Cardiovascular, the first fully web-based cardiovascular information system in Europe.

The new range of solutions is made possible through Agfa's acquisition of US-based cardiology specialist Heartlab, a leading designer and supplier of image and information management networks for cardiology. Consistently ranked as a top industry performer, Heartlab pioneered the creation of cardiology industry standards and the development of clinical products that improve the management of cardiovascular disease. Its acquisition follows a successful collaboration — begun in December 2003 within a distribution agreement for Agfa's IMPAX for Cardiology. This created the foundation for developing a unique approach to hospitals, enabling cardiology to benefit from both groundbreaking solutions and the capability to interface with radiology and the wider hospital enterprise.

To address the cardiologist's need for instant and multiple site access to complex image intensive data, Agfa's new cardiology portfolio now combines Heartlab's in-depth cardiology knowledge, management expertise, and solutions with Agfa's reputation for imaging and IT systems, and its developing competence in systems management. The result is a centre of excellence for cardiologists that will have far-reaching benefits for the future, as new solutions are developed.

The Heartlab acquisition, which fits with Agfa's strategy of expanding into other key disciplines beyond radiology, complements other recent European acquisitions. Heartlab's large customer base provides Agfa with significant market access in the US where its customers include many of North America's leading academic and research heart centres, as well as numerous regional and community hospitals. Agfa's acquisition also provides new opportunities within global markets for the Heartlab product portfolio.

Cardiology is a critical discipline in today's healthcare and there is increasing pressure on cardiologists and hospitals to provide more effective and efficient care. With cardiovascular disease claiming more lives than any other disease in the industrialised world, and cardiology accounting for one in four hospital admissions, some studies show that cardiology departments account for more than 40% of hospital profits.

Commenting on the acquisition and its benefits, Luc Thijs, Vice President radiology & departmental solutions, said, "At Agfa, we recognised that we could combine our expertise and skills gained in radiology, with Heartlab's strong clinical knowledge and reputation in cardiology, to create a global center of excellence. With cardiology Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) expected to grow by more than 20% year on year for the foreseeable future, we are now well positioned to provide cardiologists with the most complete and integrated offering on the market today, and into the future. And, as the needs of the healthcare industry develop further, we are spearheading the move to the Electronic Patient Record, with our capability to integrate radiology, cardiology and information management systems."

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