Medical imaging vendors are starting to line up to compete for task orders under a new U.S. government contract enabling federal healthcare providers to purchase diagnostic imaging and related technology.

Currently, two companies—Agfa HealthCare and Carestream Health—have announced respective awards from the Defense Logistics Agency for the Digital Imaging Network-Picture Archiving and Communication System (DIN-PACS) IV, which is an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract.

Agfa’s award is worth as much as $768 million, while Carestream’s award has a maximum contract value of $150 million. Both vendors provided products and services under the previous DIN-PACS III contract.

Medioimages/Photodisc

Garrett Huntley, contracts manager at Carestream, says that ultimately multiple companies will be awarded DIN-PACS IV contracts to compete against each other for business from federally funded medical facilities. He anticipates that other incumbent vendors on DIN-PACS III such as McKesson and Philips will also be DIN-PACS IV award winners.

DIN-PACS is an open system network of digital devices designed for the effective acquisition, transmission, display and management of diagnostic imaging studies.

“The biggest difference we’re seeing with DIN-PACS IV is a real focus on cybersecurity. It’s such a huge issue in our industry right now with major hospital networks,” adds Huntley, who says the government is leading the way when it comes a risk-management framework.

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The contracts, which have a five-year base and a five-year option period, are open to federal agencies, including the Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs.

“DIN-PACS provides for diagnostic X-ray images in digital output that can be transmitted for analysis anywhere in the hospital or in the world,” states Defense Logistics Agency’s solicitation. “The vision for radiology is to create a ‘virtual’ radiology department by eliminating multiple ‘place’ constraints that arise both within and between diagnostic centers.”

The U.S. military is one of the most advanced users of DIN-PACS technology. According to the Defense Logistics Agency, DIN-PACS IV supports the business process changes throughout the Military Health System and, especially, within the practice of military radiology.

“Within facilities, the DIN-PACS system is intended to eliminate the necessity of creating film and allow access to images by multiple users at any place and anytime,” according to the Defense Logistics Agency. “Between facilities, the system is intended to create opportunities to dynamically shift workload at any time and to any location where clinical expertise is available.”

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