Sectra has bought the company that developed the Image Exchange Portal that is used by almost all NHS trusts to exchange medical images and reports with each other.

Sectra says it has bought Burnbank Systems Limited to expand its medical systems operations in the UK. It also announced recently that it is establishing an imaging development team in the UK.

Burnbank developed the Image Exchange Portal as a network for the transfer of medical images and reports between care providers. The system, which was a winner in the EHI Awards 2010 in association with BT, is now used by more than 290 hospitals.

Peter Young, the managing director and owner of Burnbank, said the move would guarantee its long-term stability.

“Our business development will continue to be based on the premise that hospitals can avail themselves of our services, regardless of which IT systems supplier for medical images and reports they use.”

Burnbank will continue to operate under its existing branding as a separate business unit within Sectra’s Medical Systems business area. Sectra is paying £5m for the business, which has 25 employees and made an operating margin of 25% on sales of £2.4m in 2011.

“The delivery of services to the healthcare sector via hosted services is a supply model that will grow in significance,” said Torbjorn Kronander, president of Sectra’s Medical Systems.

“Burnbank has built up a successful operation, and the online services offered by Sectra to the healthcare sector will add further customer benefits.”

The new development team will focus on making sure that Sectra’s systems have the functionality demanded in the UK and on responding to new policy and business challenges.

The company says the two developments together will deliver an “end to end integration” of picture archiving and communications systems, radiology information systems and workflows, and provide support for teleradiology and hosted, automated diagnostic services.