box10.gif (1299 bytes)








NORTH Network opts for Agfa PACS

TORONTO – Agfa’s HealthCare business group announced that the NORTH Network has selected Agfa’s IMPAX Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) for the acquisition, storage, distribution and display of diagnostic images for its users throughout the province of Ontario.

NORTH is Canada’s busiest and most comprehensive video conference-based telemedicine network, currently facilitating over 1,000 clinical events each month. Using live, two-way video conferencing, NORTH clinicians apply the latest tele-diagnostic instruments to examine and prescribe treatment, so that a remote patient can “visit” an out-of-town specialist from their home community rather than having to travel.

“Our vision is the creation of a PACS that will act as a funnel, gathering information and images from a variety of hospital and regional PACS temporarily, so that a physician may access them during a consultation with a patient,” said Dr. Ed Brown, executive director, NORTH Network. “To achieve this, we need a vendor with a great deal of experience in both implementation and connectivity, and Agfa has both.”

The IMPAX system, which can house diagnostic images gathered from multiple PACS across Ontario, allows a physician to easily access diagnostic images that might be required during a medical consult, ultimately improving the delivery of patient care through a more rapid diagnosis and treatment decision.

“One of the most challenging aspects in implementing the IMPAX system is integrating the service across NORTH’s multi-organizational membership,” noted Michael Green, vice president, Agfa HealthCare, Canada.

NORTH provides service for more than 100 members across Ontario, not all of which are equipped with PACS. For those that are PACS-equipped, the systems may be from different vendors. Consequently, connectivity and integration of the various provincial PACS will be instrumental to the success of the new service.

In addition to using the system for scheduled consultations, NORTH Network plans to utilize IMPAX for its TeleStroke initiative, to provide neurologists with fast and secure access to CT images for stroke patients located in rural and northern areas of the province. Since time is important when dealing with a stroke, fast access to images provides a tremendous advantage for a quick diagnosis and treatment of the patient.

Agfa will provide NORTH with its leading edge IMPAX PACS solution, which encompasses the necessary connectivity and integration, storage and display capability for physicians using NORTH Network. “Agfa is extremely proud of this partnership with NORTH. This will be another great example of how our technology will be used to improve the delivery of patient care here in Ontario,” said Agfa’s Lisa Shoniker, HealthCare Solutions Manager, Ontario.

For more than 10 years, Agfa’s PACS have been installed worldwide; Agfa’s PACS installations throughout Canada range from the smallest rural settings to the largest urban centers.

For its part, NORTH Network is Canada’s busiest and most comprehensive telemedicine program.  Using live, two-way video conferencing and electronic medical devices to support the delivery of clinical care, professional education and administrative services, NORTH connects patients and health professionals in more than 170 urban and remote sites across the province.   A membership-based, not-for-profit program, NORTH offers technical and operational services to more than 100 members. For more information, visit