AGFA Waterloo Research and Development Centre

Uploaded by OntarioInnovation on 16.05.2012

AGFA Healthcare's been in diagnostic imaging for probably close to a hundred years. It
started as a company that manufactured x-ray film. Film has given way to digital techniques
now and of course these have become much more cost effective. AFGA really went through quite
a transition in the early 90s, as one of the first film companies to make a move into this
digital world which was called Picture Archiving and Communication, or PACS for short. And
today it really has a dominant position in that sector.
We know there's an increasing demand for health care, there's a shortage of physicians and
radiologists, and so using these systems they can be more effective basically, see more
patients, do more work, make more diagnoses with a small, or similar, amount of resource.
In a country like Canada for example, we have a lot of remote locations, hospitals which
are out in rural areas, that may not have specialists available in those small hospitals.
By capturing an image locally they can send it to a university hospital in Toronto and
get an expert consultation without the patient having to take a flight or a journey to a
specialist centre.
So we have examples around the world where this is actually being done. The FIDI project
in Brazil for example, where there is a centralized group of radiologists that report on all the
patient images for an entire region.
2009, we gained a grant from the Ontario government as part of the Next Generation of Jobs program,
and we expanded our R&D operations by adding another 100 new people. This year we're opening
a new facility where we are now, in Waterloo in the tech park, and we're officially opening
now in May.
We have customers who have literally turned their turnaround time, that is the time between
when an exam is ordered and when the results are available to the clinician or referring
physician, from literally days and weeks, and sometimes months in a certain scenario,
down to sometimes quite literally minutes. So it's a huge benefit for the patient as
Within health care, like any other industry, we see a proliferation of mobile devices.
So what we have is a solution, completely web based, which is of great benefit because
uses can use different operating systems, different browsers, so it's completely browser
based, there's no dependency on any sort of download or anything like that. What it does
is it again provides the user, the clinician, the referring physician, with not only images,
but also reports so that that they, regardless of where they are, can see images and reports
related to their caregiver.
It speeds up the whole end-to-end process for the patient, and actually brings a much
better quality of care into the scenario that might not have been possible before.
At AGFA Healthcare, we're really at the forefront of delivering health care IT solutions that
are changing people's lives on a daily basis. We are making images and information available
where they've never been available before, whether that's elsewhere in the hospital or
really anywhere in the world. So, we see this as a very exciting time for healthcare in
general, and certainly for AGFA specifically.