DOD extends contracts for digital radiology

Defense Department officials have given the go-ahead for the third option

year of a contract for their flagship program to make radiology digital

in military hospitals.

Agfa Corp. of Ridgefield Park, N.J., and IBM Global Government Industry

of Houston received one-year options under the Digital Imaging Network Picture

Archiving and Communications System (DIN-PACS) program on Nov. 17, according

to a DOD announcement. Each company's contract is limited at a maximum $250

million.

The Pentagon awarded the first DIN-PACS contract in November 1997.

According to the announcement, the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia,

which is the contracting office for DIN-PACS, solicited 65 proposals and

received five contract bids.

Through DIN-PACS, DOD hospitals hope to lower costs by making radiology

and other data available digitally so that medical technicians can access

data electronically through local- and wide-area networks.

DOD medical officials also want to avoid relying on one vendor's legacy

system, so they are using industry standards such as Health Level 7. Many

hospitals are also using Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT 4.0 as an operating

system under the contract.

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