Industry news: Kodak Canada expands operations; Partners Telemedicine changes name, focus

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Kodak Health Group is expanding its healthcare IT operations in Summerside, Prince Edward Island (PE), Canada. With the latest initiative, close to 20 new software engineering positions will be created within the company's Health Group in response to customer demand for healthcare IT software products from the company's Health Group. The Summerside operations are focused on the development and support of radiology information system (RIS) offered around the world by Kodak's Health Group. Radiology information systems enable hospital radiology departments to maintain electronic records on patient exams, scheduling and other important information. The PEI team is heavily involved in technology design and development, global support of customers, and commercialization of Kodak's CARESTREAM RIS product.

The Health Group began its Summerside operation in 2000. As the demand for healthcare IT systems grew over the past seven years, the Health Group has moved into larger facilities and hired additional employees and contractors.

The Summerside facility has become the hub site for Kodak Radiology Information System R &D, as the team works closely with colleagues in the U.S., Japan, China, Israel, Germany, and Italy. In addition, the facility supports a customer base in more than 20 countries around the world.

Partners Telemedicine – owned by Boston-based integrated health system Partners HealthCare — announced a name change to Partners Center for Connected Health to better reflect, the company said, broad range of its work in telehealth, remote care and disease and lifestyle management programs under development at Partners. The organization said it has been leading efforts to create a patient- centered model of healthcare delivery, connecting patients to healthcare providers outside of the clinical setting and delivering care where and when it is needed.

The organization plans on developing new patient care programs focusing on the management of chronic illnesses, including asthma, diabetes, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and mental health, and fitness and wellness programs offered through employers. A number of research programs are currently underway:

  • A project to enable heart failure patients to collect vital signs using simple telemonitoring devices in their home, including heart rate, blood pressure and weight;;
  • A research program will launch in early 2007, with a major Massachusetts employer, to demonstrate the effectiveness of an Internet-based wellness program to help employees self-manage high blood pressure; and
  • To help patients take medication on time and as prescribed, patients are given a "smart" pill bottle and ambient globe, which changes color if the pill bottle is not opened, to remind patients when medication is overdue.