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This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

DOMINATOR RADIOLOGY SYSTEMS EXPECTS TO DELIVER 7 TO 10 DOMINATOR multi-modular medical image management systems by year-end. The product's national rollout began at a medical course entitled "Imaging Innovations of Practical Importance" held at La Costa Resort and Spa in north San Diego County, California Aug. 19-22. The system includes six components that allow radiologists to display and view images on multiple high resolution monitors, interfacing with primary imaging devices such as magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, diagnostic ultrasound, and nuclear medicine scanners. Using The Catapult component, the technologist may crop, adjust window/level, review, edit, and transmit images. The Opti- Miser component, a high-resolution paper or transparency printer, provides a hard copy alternative to film at a cost less than .50 per copy. In contrast, the average annual cost of film and film-related expenses ranges from $100,000 to $200,000 per year per radiologist full-time equivalent, according to Dominator promotional literature. The Ambassador, another component of the Dominator system, receives and displays images at remote sites, such as the physician's home, ward, clinic, an emergency room, or a referring physician's office. Niwot Network's DFT hardware/software product for automated high-speed dial-up data transfer has been integrated into this component to facilitate the transmission of extremely large files over digital lines. The entire Dominator system's hardware is manufactured by over a dozen different firms. A typical comprehensive Dominator system configuration for a 200-bed hospital wanting to eliminate film usage related to its MRI and CT machines retails for approximately $186,000. Individual system components range between $6,500 and $70,000. With a total of 10 employees and consultants, Dominator currently focuses its marketing efforts on hospitals, imaging centers, and radiology groups through direct sales at meetings and trade shows. The company is also considering distribution alliances with larger firms. Among the advantages of the Dominator system are the near-elimination of film-related costs and time-consumption, increased productivity, the ability to operate a practice more efficiently with less radiologists, better service to radiologists' referral sources, and the capability of consulting with other Dominator users, according the firm. In addition, physicians can be trained to use the system in "less than 30 minutes." The inventors of the device, Murray Reicher, MD, and Evan Fram, MD, are practicing radiologists. They and a small group of investors founded the privately held San Diego- based company in August 1992. The company received 510(k) clearance in April to distribute the device.

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