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JOHN HUNTER HOSPITAL SELECTS STORAGETEK TO IMPROVE MEDICAL IMAGING SERVICES

  • 22 February, 2005 14:02

<p>~ New Four Terabyte Disk Solution Powers PACS Application to Control Costs and Improve Access to Images for 1500 Clinicians ~</p>
<p>NEWCASTLE, Australia -- February 22, 2005 -- StorageTek® (Storage Technology Corp., NYSE:STK), the data storage and solutions expert, today announced that John Hunter Hospital has adopted its D-Series disk products to underpin its rapidly expanding picture archiving and communications system (PACS) from Kodak Health Imaging Group.</p>
<p>The new infrastructure will allow the hospital to expand medical imaging services to regional hospitals, improving services to patients and enhancing physicians' productivity while reducing operating costs.</p>
<p>John Hunter Hospital is the largest hospital in the Hunter region of the Australian State of New South Wales. One of 12 hospitals operated by the Hunter New England Area Health Service, John Hunter Hospital is the main source of many specialist services in the region.</p>
<p>Hunter Health Imaging Service (HHIS) is one of those specialist services, and offers medical imaging services such as Radiology, Nuclear Medical, Vascular and Normal Ultrasound, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Fluorescent X-ray at hospitals throughout the region.</p>
<p>"HHIS employs the equivalent of 164 full time workers and conducts around 175,000 procedures a year," explains Joanne Horst, HHIS's Acting Manager of Operational Support Systems. "We take the business of hospitals with our region," she says, with operations continuing to expand into new hospitals.</p>
<p>The organisation produces vast quantities of data. "An ultrasound image can be 256Kb," Horst says. "Or we can go up to 10Mb for a chest X-ray. Some scans are done in series of 250 to 300 images or more," all of which produces great demand for storage. "We expect our storage requirements to double by the end of 2006," Horst says.</p>
<p>And with increased storage requirements comes extra demand for access to images. The key end-users for HHIS's PACS services are its own staff, plus over 1500 doctors and other clinicians in the region's hospitals that require access to medical images.</p>
<p>Patients will not always be assessed by a doctor in the hospital where the image was taken. An X-ray of a broken bone taken in one hospital, for example, may be accessed by doctors for several months after the break in different hospitals. This kind of requirement creates the need for HHIS to operate storage infrastructure that can quickly retrieve images and display them wherever and whenever clinicians need to view them.</p>
<p>HHIS's solution was a PACS system designed to store images in short to medium-term storage that would deliver images in five to ten seconds, before migrating the images to a StorageTek automated tape library. "It's all about making physicians more productive," Horst says.</p>
<p>But as HHIS increased the number of locations it services and demands for medical imaging services grew, the capacity of the original EMC Clariion medium-term storage system was quickly exceeded, forcing more images into long-term storage and imposing an unacceptable two to three minute image retrieval time on busy medical staff.</p>
<p>"We have got to the point where we only had a number of weeks of medium-term storage before we had to archive images," Horst says. "To satisfy our clients we would ideally have three to six months' of images in medium-term storage, so it was essential to upgrade to provide that immediate service and give us capacity for future growth."</p>
<p>HHIS worked with its partner Kodak Health Imaging Group to select the new storage infrastructure, with Kodak recommending a StorageTek disk solution.</p>
<p>"By making a generational change we are meeting today's demands for increased access and speed and the new storage architecture suits that requirement much better," says Michael Hopmere, Kodak Health Imaging Group's Professional Services Manager, Australia &amp; New Zealand.</p>
<p>"The combination of good price point, compatibility with our PACS software and support made StorageTek the best choice. The fact that StorageTek offers direct service was especially important."</p>
<p>StorageTek has since worked with Kodak Health Imaging and HHIS to install four terabytes in a StorageTek D280 disk subsystem. The new system will store all new images and work alongside a StorageTek L700 automated tape library which will continue to provide archival and backup facilities.</p>
<p>HHIS now has storage infrastructure that offers the capacity and scalability it requires, while also offering speed of image retrieval needed to deliver effective medical imaging services.</p>
<p>"This really is a second generation solution that increases the capabilities of what we can do with the images," Horst concludes. "We aimed to achieve increased responsiveness and effectiveness and the new system delivers."</p>
<p>ABOUT HUNTER HEALTH IMAGING SERVICE</p>
<p>Hunter Health Imaging Service (HHIS) is a Business Unit of the Hunter New England Area Health Service (New South Wales, Australia). HHIS provides radiology and nuclear medicine services across eight (8) hospital sites currently. The recent amalgamation of Area Health Services in NSW provides the potential for further expansion of HHIS's PACS/RIS system, such that it will provide image storage and distribution to a geographical area which boast over 35 individual hospitals across an area of 130,000 km2.</p>
<p>ABOUT KODAK'S HEALTH GROUP</p>
<p>Kodak Health, with 2004 revenues of $US2.68 billion, is a world leader in supplying the medical and dental professions with advanced healthcare products, services and information technology (IT) solutions. Its broad product portfolio includes picture archiving and communications systems (PACS), radiology information systems (RIS), enterprise healthcare and clinical information systems, computed radiography (CR) and digital radiography (DR) systems, laser imagers, mammography systems, x-ray film systems for general radiography, and dental imaging products. Its broad services portfolio includes everything from repair and maintenance, to professional services encompassing equipment integration, business consulting, storage and archiving, secure e-mail services -- and more. Kodak's Health Group and Eastman Kodak Company's (NYSE: EK) other major businesses: Graphic Communications -- offering on-demand colour and black and white printing, wide-format inkjet printing, high-speed, high-volume continuous inkjet printing, as well as document scanning, archiving and multi-vendor IT services; Digital &amp; Film Imaging Systems -- providing consumers, professionals and cinematographers with digital and traditional products and services; and Display &amp; Components -- which designs and manufactures state-of-the-art organic light-emitting diode displays as well as other specialty materials, and delivers imaging sensors to original equipment manufacturers -- together are committed to a digitally oriented growth strategy. For more information about Kodak Health, contact your Kodak representative or visit www.kodak.com/go/health.</p>
<p>ABOUT STORAGETEK
StorageTek is a $US2 billion global company that enables businesses, through its information lifecycle management strategy, to align the cost of storage with the value of information. The company's innovative storage solutions manage the complexity and growth of information, lower costs, improve efficiency and protect investments. For more information, see www.storagetek.com.</p>
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<p>TRADEMARKS: StorageTek and the StorageTek logo are registered trademarks of Storage Technology Corporation. Other names mentioned may be trademarks of Storage Technology Corporation or other vendors/manufacturers. (Note: KODAK is a trademark of Eastman Kodak Company.)</p>
<p>MEDIA CONTACT:
David Sanday
Bowes Communications
(02) 9387 2333
chris.bowes@bowespr.com</p>

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