Kodak To Join Health Imaging Services With IBM's Storage Devices

The move is designed to help medical professionals cut costs and improve patient care by allowing them to store, retrieve, and share large amounts of data.



ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) -- Eastman Kodak Co. is teaming with IBM Corp. on a system for storing and managing digital medical imagery at health centers, the companies said Tuesday.

The companies will combine Kodak's medical imaging products and services with IBM's storage devices. The move is designed to help medical professionals cut costs and improve patient care by allowing them to store, retrieve, and share large amounts of data with their colleagues.

`The challenge is storing and accessing images for cardiologists and doctors with greater speed and reliability," Patrick Boyle, a medical imaging executive at IBM, said in a statement.

Kodak has shifted this year toward building up its presence in digital photography, printing, and health imaging markets. Its conventional photography business, which still provides the bulk of its profits, has slowed considerably as filmless digital cameras surge in popularity.

In September, the world's biggest photography company slashed its annual dividend from $1.80 to 50 cents to help fund $3 billion in acquisitions and internal growth.

Kodak has already paid more than $840 million this year for five companies. The biggest deal was its $486 million buyout of PracticeWorks Inc., an Atlanta-based dental-imaging and software maker.

Kodak wants to boost its revenues to $16 billion by 2006 from $12.8 billion in 2002.

In Chicago, at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, Kodak reiterated Tuesday that it expects its health imaging sales will grow 7 percent to 9 percent annually through 2006, with profits growing 8 percent to 10 percent a year. The health group had revenues of $2.27 billion last year.

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