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Kodak and R2 Announce Joint Marketing Agreement Through Novation.

Business Editors, Health/Medical/High-Tech Writers

ROCHESTER, N.Y. & LOS ALTOS, Calif.

--(BW HealthWire)--July 12, 2001

Industry Leaders to Offer Largest U.S. Hospital Medical Supply Company

Powerful New Tools for Capturing and Analyzing Mammograms

Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:EK), the world leader in mammography imaging, and R2 Technology, Inc., the pioneer in computer-aided detection (CAD) for mammography, today announced the two companies have entered into a joint marketing agreement. The alliance will focus on the sole source agreements both companies have with Novation, the supply company of VHA Inc. and the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), which represents more than 2,300 health care organizations. Under the sole source agreements, Novation members will have access to the Kodak MIN-R(R) 2000 screen-film system which yields greater resolution, more detail, and higher contrast than any other Kodak mammography screen-film system, and R2's ImageChecker(R) system, the only FDA- approved CAD technology for mammography. ImageChecker(R) has been shown to detect up to 20.5 percent more breast cancers than interpretation without computer assistance.

"Kodak is an established leader in the mammography field and is pleased to offer their high-quality screen-film system along with R2's advanced computer-aided detection system," said Ted Taccardi, Product Manager, Image Processing, Eastman Kodak. "Using R2's ImageChecker(R) with our MIN-R 2000 screen-film system is a very effective way for radiologists to enhance their diagnostic confidence. We believe our joint agreement with R2 will enable VHA and UHC members to easily avail themselves of these state-of-the-art tools and provide their patients with the highest possible standard of care."

The Kodak MIN-R 2000 screen-film system delivers the critically important imaging element -- a very high quality mammographic image. The image is then digitized and analyzed by the ImageChecker(R) system, which flags areas of concern for the radiologist to consider.

"I am confident that Kodak Min-R 2000 film in combination with the ImageChecker(R) is the most clinically accurate system for mammography screening," said Dr. Robin B. Shermis, Toledo Hospital. "Together, these tools can give radiologists help in detecting breast cancer earlier and more accurately in order to improve patient outcomes."

Studies show that 20 to 40 percent of breast cancer goes undetected at the screening mammography stage and approximately one half of those undetected cancers are overlooked. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), early detection of breast cancer is significant for positive outcomes in breast cancer diagnoses, yet it is difficult to identify because of the complex anatomy of the breast. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer patients decreases from approximately 96 percent for cancers detected and treated at an early stage, to 77 percent for mid-stage cancers (where the cancer has spread to surrounding tissue) to just 21 percent for late stage cancers that have spread to distant organs.

"We are pleased to partner with such a distinguished company as Kodak in serving one of the largest medical buying groups in the country," said Mike Klein, CEO, R2 Technology. "We believe this agreement will help Kodak and R2 provide VHA and UHC members the best available mammography tools, giving their patients a better chance for a healthier life."

About Kodak's Health Imaging Division

Kodak is a leading participant in infoimaging, a $225 billion industry created by the convergence of images and information technology. Infoimaging unites three closely related imaging markets -- devices, infrastructure and services/media -- and enables facilities to more easily share images as information.

Kodak's Health Imaging Division develops, manufactures and markets products for the capture, processing, presentation, desktop and printing of health-related images and information. It is a leading single-source provider for PACS, radiology information systems, computed radiography, digital radiography, teleradiology, laser imagers, distributed medical imagers and traditional x-ray films and equipment. Kodak's Health Imaging Division has annual revenues of more than $2 billion, and has been serving the needs of the healthcare industry for over 100 years. For more information, call 1-877/865-6325, Ext. 227 (United States only), contact your Kodak representative or visit Kodak's web site at www.kodak.com/go/health.

About R2 Technology, Inc.

R2 Technology, Inc., headquartered in Los Altos, Calif., U.S., is the recognized leader in the development and commercialization of Computer Aided Detection (CAD), an innovative technology that assists radiologists in the early detection of breast cancer and other cancer-related lesions. R2's CAD software has been integrated with the ImageChecker processing and visual display system, and is being successfully sold to hospitals and imaging centers as an aid to radiologists for more accurate detection of breast cancer. To date, more than 200 ImageChecker systems have been sold worldwide. CAD procedures for mammography are reimbursed by Medicare and a growing number of private insurers. For further information, visit R2's Web site at www.r2tech.com.

About Novation

Based in Irving, Texas, Novation was established in January 1998 through a combination of the supply programs of VHA and UHC, two national health care alliances. Novation serves the purchasing needs of more than 2,300 members and affiliates of VHA and UHC. Novation also serves more than 5,400 members of HealthCare Purchasing Partners International (HPPI), another group purchasing organization owned by VHA and UHC. The largest supply cost management company in health care, Novation manages more than $17 billion in annual purchases for VHA, UHC and HPPI members. For more information, go to www.novationco.com. VHA, also based in Irving, is a nationwide network of more than 2,200 leading community-owned health care organization and their physicians. It comprises 26% of the nation's community hospitals. For more information, contact www.vha.com. UHC, based in Oak Brook, Ill., and representing 70% of the academic medical centers in the United States, is an alliance of 84 academic medical centers and 80 associate members. For more information, contact www.uhc.edu.

Note to Editors: ImageChecker is a registered trademark of R2. Min-R 2000 is a registered trademark of Eastman Kodak.
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 12, 2001
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