Health Policy

U.S. Air Force gives thumbs up to Agfa PACS, data center

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Executives of Belgium-based Agfa HealthCare, which provides IT-enabled clinical workflow and diagnostic imaging technology, say the company’s Picture Archiving System (PACS) and its IMPAX data center have passed muter with the U.S. Air Force. Agfa officials announced the Air Force approval Sunday at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago. Air Force approval is no easy feat, said Eric Maurincomme, Agfa’s chief strategy and marketing officer. The Air force is strict about security, he said, and Agfa’s products had to meet stringent guidelines for “authority to connect.” Certification and accreditation is based on guidelines defined by the Department of Defense Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process (DIACAP), Maurincomme noted. Agfa is the first PACS vendor to receive approval under DIACAP, allowing its IMPAX 6.3 PACS system and IMPAX Data Center to be installed on U.S. Air Force networks. “The US Air Force continuously challenges its vendors to deliver the toughest IT security standards within global clinical operations and we take the quality of care, privacy and security of our government customers and their patients very seriously,” said Tim Artz, global government program director at Agfa. IMPAX is a Web-deployable application designed to help overcome the physical barriers of complex multi-site environments like the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs medical treatment facilities. It’s a single image-management and storage product designed to improve the planning, capture, interpretation, distribution and archiving of diagnostic images. It also allows a virtual view of a patient’s imaging record wherever Internet access is available. The IMPAX Data Center provides multimedia storage to consolidate data from disparate systems into a single point of storage. Agfa HealthCare has implemented more than USD 300 million worth of PACS and teleradiology systems and services for the DoD and VA, installing its products at more than 150 DoD and VA facilities worldwide, including more than 30 U.S. Navy warships with onboard radiology suites and the two U.S. Navy hospital ships, Mercy and Comfort.

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