Eastman Kodak sets its strategic course for growth in healthcare's IT sector
Eastman Kodak Co. this week also rolled out a series of strategic initiatives that the company says will catapult its Health Imaging division to "a top-tier provider of healthcare information systems and strengthen its drive to bring advancements in such systems to the marketplace."

 The business blueprint calls for the creation of a world headquarters for its the Healthcare Information Systems (HCIS) operation at the company's corporate headquarters in Rochester, N.Y. HCIS develops and markets image-and-information management systems and software for hospital radiology departments and imaging centers.

 Kodak this week also unveiled plans to acquire Algotec Systems Ltd. Algotec has been Kodak's partner in the development of advanced picture archiving and communications systems (PACS), such as the Kodak DirectView PACS System 5. (see story above)

 Kodak is pledging a "double-digit percentage increase" in research-and-development for HCIS by realigning its R&D Resources.

 "We're making these investments because the healthcare information systems marketplace represents a significant global opportunity and because our HCIS operation is an important component of the Health Imaging Group's overall growth strategy," said Health Imaging President Dan Kerpelman.

 Kodak estimates that the worldwide market for PACS is approximately $1 billion in annual sales, with a compound annual growth rate of 15 to 20 percent.