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
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 www.northnetwork.com.