Agfa HealthCare Opens R&D Facility for Clinical Imaging IT Solutions Development

Agfa HealthCareAgfa HealthCare announces the official opening of its brand new research and development (R&D) facility and global data center in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Under the theme of "Delivering Insight through Innovation," Agfa HealthCare was joined by more than 100 guests from the Ontario region, as well as leaders from the greater area of Canada and internationally, to celebrate and commemorate the new home for the worldwide development and introduction of software and advanced enterprise imaging solutions that will facilitate image sharing and access to the complete patient record for healthcare facilities, their clinicians, and patients around the world.

A leader in imaging for more than 120 years, Agfa HealthCare is recognized across Canada and globally for its advancements in digital imaging and imaging informatics, with more than 2300 installations worldwide of its noted IMPAX Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS), IMPAX Radiology Information System (RIS) and Imaging Clinical Information System (ICIS). At the core of the Waterloo R&D facility will be further innovations of these products as well as a keen focus on new solutions such as digital pathology that will continue to improve and transform the field of medical imaging and image-enable the electronic health record (EHR). The facility will also house an Agfa HealthCare global data center.

Wordwide center of excellence, pushing the boundaries of imaging innovation "Here in Waterloo we have established a true worldwide center of excellence to continue to push the boundaries of imaging innovation to help further improve the delivery of patient care for healthcare facilities around the globe," said Christian Reinaudo, President, Agfa-Gevaert Group. "For more than a century, improved care and constant innovation have served as the cornerstones of Agfa HealthCare's product development. We intend to keep our sites clearly focused on these areas today and the future as we collaborate with our world-class healthcare partners to continually deliver better healthcare solutions in Canada and across the globe."

Agfa HealthCare's new R&D facility is strategically located in Waterloo's high tech David Johnston Research and Technology Park, enabling the company to leverage the technological advances and the skilled human resources for which this area is recognized. In addition, the facility's location in this thriving center of commerce gives it proximity to other high tech companies.

100 additional jobs
More than 100 additional jobs have been created by the new facility. Furthermore, with its proximity to the University of Waterloo campus, Agfa HealthCare is further strengthening its ties with the university's faculty and students. The two organizations will build on their successful history of like-minded innovation that currently includes research partnerships and a successful intern program. With strong university curriculums in biomechanics, ontology and other related fields, Agfa HealthCare is able to benefit from the bright minds and skill of students while in return provide invaluable research and workforce opportunities for them.

Continued innovation today and in the future
During today's celebration Canadian and international government officials, as well as recognized leaders from healthcare and academia, were in attendance to help Agfa HealthCare celebrate the opening, and to show their support for the significant benefits to healthcare that the technological developments of the facility will bring. Noted guests and speakers included:

  • Mr. Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Innovation
  • Belgium Ambassador Bruno van der Pluijm
  • Dr. Feridun Hamdullarphur, President of the University of Waterloo
  • Mr. Richard Alvarez, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway

"Agfa HealthCare extends its sincere thanks to the many parties that are helping to make our accomplishments today and in the future possible, including the Ontario government and our esteemed friends and colleagues at the University of Waterloo," said Michael Green, President and CEO, Americas Region, Agfa HealthCare. "Their support is invaluable, and in turn we look forward to the continued delivery of innovative solutions and technologies that will further improve access to critical healthcare information and improve the efficiency of the diagnostic process for care providers and their patients alike."

Multiple benefits
The benefits of Agfa HealthCare solutions to patient care delivery, physician workflow and healthcare costs are wide and vast. According to Canada Health Infoway, from a care perspective, it is estimated that PACS help the avoidance of 800,000 to 1.3 million unnecessary exams annually. Financially, it is estimated that PACS will generate $850 million to $1 billion a year in health system. Efficiencies are gained through increased clinical productivity and reduced patient transfers. Additionally storage space and staffing expenses can cover the costs of implementing and operating PACS.

About Agfa
The Agfa-Gevaert Group is one of the world's leading companies in imaging and information technology. Agfa develops manufactures and markets analogue and digital systems for the printing industry (Agfa Graphics), for the healthcare sector (Agfa HealthCare), and for specific industrial applications (Agfa Materials). Agfa is headquartered in Mortsel, Belgium. The company is present in 40 countries and has agents in another 100 countries around the globe. The Agfa-Gevaert Group achieved a turnover of 2,948 million euro in 2010.

About Agfa HealthCare
Agfa HealthCare, a member of the Agfa-Gevaert Group, is a leading global provider of diagnostic imaging and healthcare IT solutions. The company has nearly a century of healthcare experience and has been a pioneer on the healthcare IT market since the early 1990's. Today Agfa HealthCare designs, develops and delivers state-of-the-art systems for capturing, managing and processing diagnostic images and clinical/administrative information for hospitals and healthcare facilities, as well as contrast media solutions to enable effective medical imaging results. The company has sales offices and agents in over 100 markets worldwide. Sales for Agfa HealthCare in 2010 were 1,180 million euro.