Orex’s computerized radiography units provide digital diagnostic X-rays without the need for film or developing.An Israeli company – which has developed a novel portable digital X-ray system that has been effectively used by the US military on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan – has been acquired by Eastman Kodak Company.
The digital X-ray system developed by Orex Computerized Radiography Inc, enables medical practitioners to acquire patient x-ray images digitally. Under the agreement, Kodak will acquire privately held Orex, based in Yokneam, near Haifa, for approximately $50.5 million in cash.
The U.S. military has purchased more than 250 Orex radiological which better enable medical personnel in the field to immediately assist those injured in battle. Orex’s computerized radiography units provide digital diagnostic X-rays without the need for film or developing. The US military uses the units in battlefield situations, including Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Orex system, is “lightweight and portable,” Col. Thomas Knuth, commanding director of the U.S. Army Training Trauma Center in Miami, told The Boston Herald. “The main X-ray they have for the field right now takes a couple of people to carry and has to be recalibrated every time they move it,” he said. The Orex machine, in contrast, weighs about 88 pounds and “can be used with almost no training,” he said.
“Orex is very proud to have been selected by the U.S. government based on an in-depth examination of our performance and features,” said Hillel Bachrach, President and Chief Executive Officer of Orex.
One advantage of the all-digital system, he said, is the ability to transmit X-ray images over the Internet. And, he said, unlike traditional X-rays, it requires no chemicals to develop the images.
“When you are in Iraq, you don’t need to be carrying all those chemicals around with you,” Bachrach said.
The technology and innovation behind the hardware and software that make up Orex’s small format computed radiography (CR) products have resulted in one of the most versatile and flexible compact CR systems on the market. Orex manufactures and markets these systems for specialty markets, such as orthopedics, diagnostic imaging centers and dentistry.
Orex’s systems also are used for in-room CR needs throughout a medical facility – such as in emergency, pediatrics and intensive care departments – enabling medical staff to stay in close contact with patients during the exam. To date, almost 4,000 Orex systems have been installed in the US, Europe, Japan, China and other parts of the world.
“Acquiring Orex – whose compact CR products are leading in their market segments – is in strategic alignment with plans to market our digital medical imaging and information products to customers in specialty medical markets worldwide,” said Dan Kerpelman, President, Kodak’s Health Imaging Group. “By augmenting our own highly successful CR product line, we can provide a broader array of CR solutions to meet the needs of large and small practices alike.”
“Kodak has the customer focus, the breadth of digital image capture, PACS (picture archiving and communications systems) and print solutions, an excellent track record in CR systems and the global resources to further enhance and better serve OREX existing and new customers in specialty markets like no one else can,” said Bachrach. “All of us at Orex see tremendous opportunity ahead as a result of joining Kodak, which is one of the world’s truly great brands.”
CR systems from Orex are also used by customers in another market Kodak serves – industrial non-destructive testing (NDT) organizations such as pipeline companies, foundries and aerospace manufacturers – offering industrial radiographers an easy digital solution to make image viewing and analysis more efficient.
Kodak’s Non-Destructive Testing unit, which designs and produces innovative digital and film-based NDT solutions, will market OREX CR systems to this unique industry.
Orex was founded in 1996 as Digident (focusing initially on dental CR) and expanded its product line in 2001 to leverage its expertise into the broader category of specialty medical markets. With 84 employees worldwide, and US headquarters in Auburndale, Mass , Orex will remain in its principal location in Israel, and will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Kodak and operate within Kodak’s Health Imaging Group.