Q&A: Agfa Healthcares fit in todays evolving health IT puzzle

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Bob Pryor, President, Agfa HealthCare AmericasHealth Imaging & IT spoke with Bob Pryor, president, Agfa HealthCare Americas, to get his take on the current health IT market, and what the recent streamlining efforts mean for Agfa HealthCare’s North American divisions.

What do you view as the biggest factors driving the healthcare IT market?

There are three factors stimulating the healthcare IT market. First is the requirement to improve the effectiveness of healthcare delivery by reducing medical errors and improving overall outcomes. A second factor is the requirement to lower cost by improving the efficiency of healthcare delivery. It is believed that both effectiveness and efficiency can substantially be enhanced by creation of an electronic health/medical record (EHR/EMR). A third factor stimulating healthcare IT is that today’s technologies and solutions are increasingly becoming more affordable and more viable.

Will this remain constant over the next 2-3 years?

We believe at a minimum this is so. Actually, our opinion is that these factors will serve to accelerate healthcare IT focus and expenditures over the coming years. We’re beginning to see stronger healthcare IT spending in smaller community-based hospitals and imaging centers.

How is this relevant to Agfa’s streamlining efforts?

Agfa’s current cost saving and streamlining efforts are in line with what you would expect given the changes Agfa has undergone. Our efforts focus on ensuring that our costs remain in line with the declining analog imaging solutions in both businesses with particular emphasis on manufacturing.As for our HealthCare business in North America, a large percentage of the streamlining is already behind us.