Carestream Health, Inc., is a leading provider of dental and medical imaging systems and healthcare IT solutions; molecular imaging systems; and x-ray film and digital x-ray products.
In conversation with eHEALTH, Prabir Chatterjee, MD of Carestream Health India Pvt. Ltd., provides insight into the company’s business operations in India and provides an overview of the overall medical imaging market.
Carestream Health India Pvt. Ltd.
Please tell us about Carestream Health’s operations worldwide as well as in India.
Carestream Health, Inc, is a dynamic new company that leverages 100-plus years of market leadership and an innovative suite of solutions to meet the critical needs of the markets it serves. It serves a global customer base in 150 countries. Globally, Carestream has thousands of healthcare information management solutions installed worldwide. The company sells nearly 40 percent of all new CR systems in the U.S. and Canada, and is a key player in the DR systems market. The Carestream dental digital radiography equipment and practice management software installed base, is the largest in the world. Carestream is the acknowledged world leader in all categories of film: digital output, radiology, mammography, dental and molecular imaging. With an installation base of more than 60,000 laser imaging systems around the world, and more than 1,000 patents for medical and dental imaging and information technology. Carestream Health can be found in approximately 90 percent of hospitals and dental practices around the world.
Carestream Health India leverages the strengths of its global parent to offer the same standard of product, technology and service to medical imaging community in India. The India Corporate Office of Carestream Health is located in Mumbai. There are three other regional sales offices – in Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. The sales organisation is buttressed with a network of about 155 channel partners across the country. It is the only company in India offering a complete range of medical imaging products ranging from CR, DR, PACS, dental imaging and medical printing. Its market-leading laser imagers print medical images of all types. Its flexible CR and DR solutions solve workflow, budget and space challenges and reduce procedure times.
Please tell us about your company’s turnover and revenues in the previous year?
Carestream Health, Inc., originated in 2007 when Onex Corporation purchased Eastman Kodak Company’s Health Group and established it as an independent company. Since then, Carestream Health has grown consistently and we are planning substantial growth in coming years in India as well as worldwide. The company’s 2008 revenue was approximately USD 2.5 billion.
Carestream Health’s wholly-owned subsidiary company in India – Carestream Health India – also has a comprehensive portfolio of medical imaging and healthcare IT products, services, and solutions, as well as the latest in x-ray films, laser films, computed radiography (CR) systems, digital radiography (DR) system, PACS, dental imaging products and medical laser printers. Starting off as the erstwhile health group of Kodak India, which commenced operations in 90’s, Carestream Health India had a revenue of about Rs 200 crores in 2008.
What are your latest product and service offerings in the Indian market?
Carestream continues to introduce innovative and market-leading imaging products in various segments. Some of our powerful recent introductions in India have been:
- Carestream DRX-1 is the world’s first cassette sized wireless DR detector, which fits in to existing systems. Being an extremely cost-effective digital solution, it can help the imaging labs shift to digital radiography without revamping their existing system.
- Carestream DRX Evolution is the world’s first integrated DR suite powered by the innovative Carestream DRX –1 system. This remarkable system matches the world’s first cassette sized DR detector DRX-1 with fully automated suit of precision X-ray equipment. The DRX Evolution is designed with a solution that can grow to fit the needs of radiology facilities over a longer period. The DRX-1 and the DRX Evolution systems address the needs of large healthcare facilities with heavy workloads.
- The most advanced 3D Dental Imaging machine – the Kodak 9500 3D. Reflecting Carstream’s industry leading position in the field of dental imaging, the 9500 3D is a flexible and easy to use 3D dental imaging system that enables dental professionals to obtain localized, high-resolution three-dimensional images, as well as panoramic examinations, at a very affordable price point – making the power and utility of 3D technology available to general practitioners and specialists alike. In India, three focused field units (Kodak 9000 3D) and a Cone Beam CT (Kodak 9500) have been installed. This system is targeted at endodontists, implantologists, and other dental specialists performing complex procedures.
Which segments in radiology do you focus on? Have you pioneered any technology in radiology?
Carestream Health markets offer a broad portfolio of CR and DR systems that equip hospitals, outpatient imaging centers, orthopaedic practices and other healthcare providers with digital image capture for x-ray imaging studies. Carestream Health’s laser imagers range from desktop systems designed for imaging centers, small hospitals and clinics to fully featured units designed for high volume, multi-modality output at hospitals of all sizes. These imagers offer output from PACS, CT, MRI, computed radiography and digital radiography systems, and other grayscale imaging applications.
Carestream Health has a proud history inherited from its previous identity as the Health Group of Eastman Kodak Company, comprising over 100 years of innovation dating from almost the time of discovery of X-rays by W.E. Roentgen. A recent example of pioneering technology from Carestream has been the DRX-1 – the world’s first cassette sized wireless digital DR detector. It fits in to existing systems without any modifications so that the users can conveniently shift to Digital Radiography at an affordable cost.
Please tell us about the after-sales services and customer support provided by Carestream Health.
Carestream recognises the need of busy imaging facilities for high-level of service that enables minimal disruption of their patient-care and diagnostic operations. The features of Carestream’s service support are:
- An experienced and highly qualified team of over 60 service engineers in the country, who have been trained at overseas manufacturing facilities directly on equipment they are required to support.
- Easy access to service and registration of service requests through a country-wide toll-free telephone number (1 800 209 0190), as well as e-mail
- Practice of using only genuine spare parts with spares being dispatched from mother warehouse only after QC checks.
- To minimise down-time, there are 15 stocking points for spares (warehouses) across India. Regularly required spares are maintained in sufficient quantities at the warehouses to enable prompt response. The spares management network is a dedicated operation, separate from manufacturing and sales, to ensure prompt delivery.
- Global Technical Support operates round-the-clock through the Carestream Technology and Innovation Centres located in China, Italy and the US.
- Our current and upcoming products come with remote management service.
- Application specialists on different product lines train users for optimum practices to assure best image quality and equipment care for trouble-free long-term operation.
What market opportunities and trends do you witness in Indian radiology market? How do you plan to tap them?
The overall growth in healthcare sector presents a great opportunity. The standards of healthcare and related diagnostics services have shown a sharp improvement in recent years. Modern hospitals in bigger cities adopt the latest innovations in imaging so as to be able to provide world-standard care to their patients. Such medicare facilities are in fact driving the increasing flow of overseas patients coming to India to avail healthcare services.
Now we are witnessing another trend with the next level cities and towns (B&C category locations) displaying a more mature and aware market and shifting to digital imaging solutions.
Carestream Health has led the market with its innovations and cutting edge technology products in the imaging segment almost since the very birth of X-rays over a hundred years ago. We carry a highly respected name in the medical imaging community and it will be our effort to continue to build on that brand by providing innovative and high quality imaging solutions; world class service and support for our entire product range; and bringing latest technology to India almost simultaneously with worldwide launch of products with minimum time lag.
What are your expansion plans? What strategies do you plan to adopt for expansion?
Carestream Health in India will focus on growing the market through a multi-pronged approach. We will continue to introduce innovative new products and bring the latest technology to India as fast as possible. We will provide scalable solutions that enable growth and connectivity and thus the expandability built into our products itself will lead to growth. Carestream Health will also be flexible in communicating with customers to understand their needs and develop solutions that meet those needs. The emerging markets from second-third tier towns will provide the drivers for further market expansion.
As a leader in the medical Imaging industry Carestream Health believes in growing together with the customers. We proactively contribute to the growth of medical imaging market by developing and introducing innovative and state-of-the-art products improving the quality of patient care. As a knowledge sharing initiative Carestream Health carries out several training and development initiatives for radiology professionals in the country, including orientation programs, student workshops, patient awareness campaigns such as for breast cancer awareness etc.