Agfa has launched an “ultra thin” mobile version of its Impax 6.0 picture archiving and communications system (PACS) which is due to be deployed in NHS trusts in North-east and Eastern England.

The mobile solution which promises secure “anywhere access” to patient data and images was unveiled at the Health Information Management Systems Society convention in San Diego last week.

Agfa says: “Impax mobile will offer healthcare facilities the flexibility to disseminate information and images in real time to mobile devices such as PDAs and notebook computers resulting in more effective use of imaging distribution and timely decisions for appropriate treatment plans.”

The company says the “ultra thin” properties of Impax Mobile mean that patient data are never transferred from the data archive to the mobile device, ensuring that data cannot be lost or stolen even if the mobile device goes missing.

Dave Wilson of Agfa HealthCare said the solution would provide basic PACS and 3D functionality wherever the clinician happens to be.

“This will be especially critical to physicians who need quick clinical image access. Impax Mobile will allow clinicians to maintain patient-centric care, even when in a remote location and it will permit clinicians to view clinically relevant information at the point of care, helping patients to have all the information they need to make an informed decision,” he said.

Agfa HealthCare says that over 100 hospitals around the world have taken the Impax 6.0 PACS which was launched in November. About three quarters of the installations will be at NHS trusts in the North-east and Eastern regions of England. It is designed to suit large multi-facility systems as well as community based hospitals and imaging centres.

Early adopter sites in the North-east and Eastern regions will initially receive IMPAX 5.2, the released version available when Agfa signed the NHS contract with local service supplier, Accenture.

But upgrades will follow. An Agfa representative explained to E-Health Insider: “Missing (NHS) functionality – requirements in OBS115 – is being developed in the IMPAX 6 stream and will become available to the NHS later this year. After testing and acceptance of this version (by NHS) we will start implementing IMPAX 6 and start a migration program, to take the early adopters to IMPAX 6.”