Kodak's expanded portfolio of digital technologies for dental professionals is enabling it to better serve the dental industry, including patient care, technology integration and improved digital functionality, the company announced today.
Last year, Kodak added direct digital radiography, dental practice management software technology and e-services to its dental product offerings with its acquisition of PracticeWorks, Inc., and Trophy Radiologie, S.A. The acquisition deal was finalized on October 7.
Now, seven months later, the combined strengths of the three companies is enabling Kodak to pass significant benefits to its dental, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthodontic, and endodontic customers through improved customer support, product quality and product ease-of-use.
Kodak has made significant investments in its U.S. customer support function for its new products:
* The company's customer support center staffing for its dental practice management software and digital radiography products has been expanded by 25 percent;
* A new service quality department has been created, which is dedicated to monitoring and improving the standards of the company's support staff;
* A dedicated technical training program has been implemented to ensure all support staff receive consistent and high-quality training in both technical and interpersonal skills.
As a result of these efforts, metrics used to track customer satisfaction have hit all-time highs. For example, the time it takes incoming calls to be answered by technical support representatives is now 35 percent faster than it was a year ago.
In its digital intraoral radiography business, Kodak introduced a new intraoral digital radiography system to its portfolio in the U.S., the KODAK RVG 6000 Digital Radiography System. The KODAK RVG 6000 System features the highest true image resolution available in the industry, at over 20 line pairs per millimeter.
In addition, Kodak announced the KODAK 8000C Digital Panoramic and Cephalometric System at the annual session of the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) on April 30. The KODAK 8000C System is the first of its kind to support "one shot" cephalometric imaging, reducing the risk of blurred images and improving patient comfort. It joins the highly successful KODAK 8000 Digital Panoramic System (formerly named the TROPHYPAN System), which was designed from the ground up to be truly digital.
In addition, Kodak is also leveraging its expertise in imaging science and optics to improve the quality and reliability of future direct digital radiography products. For example, Kodak researchers are currently working with their counterparts within Trophy to explore the application of Kodak image processing algorithms to the company's dental digital x-ray products. Researchers are also examining how they will leverage Kodak's knowledge of the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) standard and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations to improve the company's radiography and dental practice management software products.
Ease of Use
Kodak's focus on ease-of-use has driven additional changes to its digital product portfolio. For example, in addition to high image resolution, the KODAK RVG 6000 System offers sensor remote control for more convenient image capture and high-speed USB 2 technology to enable the system to acquire and display images in seconds.
In addition, the digital camera design team is developing a new function to the KODAK DX6490 Dental Digital Camera System: the ability to download images into Kodak's dental practice management applications with a single touch of a button.
Kodak is also developing a new website to provide integrated information about its entire product portfolio, as well as technical information and publications to assist dental professionals in all aspects of their practice. The new website design will be user-friendly and will make it easier for dentists to research new products. It will be launched in early summer at www.kodak.com/go/dental.
Integration Proves Foundation for Improvements
When Kodak announced its acquisition of PracticeWorks and Trophy Radiologie, it promised that the merger of the three companies would strengthen its ability to serve dental professionals. Today, the company believes that promise is already bearing fruit.
"We're in the wonderful position where 'the whole is greater than the sum of the parts,'" said Richard Hirschland, worldwide general manager and vice president, Kodak's Dental Systems. "We see it when our scientists and researchers come together to share ideas. The energy and ideas that result from these meetings are inspiring."
Implementing some of the resulting product and support ideas, Hirschland says, will take time. But in other cases�as with the latest improvements to Kodak's intraoral digital radiography technology�the company's product development teams have moved quickly. "You can expect to see a steady stream of innovative design and technology solutions from Kodak," Hirschland says.
Hirschland also emphasizes that the product enhancements are driven by customer input. "Kodak has a long tradition of working to understand our customer needs as the basis for our product scope and design. What's different now is that we have a greater breadth of technology and expertise to draw on."
About Kodak's Dental Systems Group
Kodak's Dental Systems Group is a leading participant in infoimaging, a $385 billion industry created by the convergence of image-and-information technology. The business, which includes wholly-owned subsidiaries PracticeWorks, Inc. and Trophy Radiologie, S.A., develops, manufactures and markets dental imaging and information systems for dental practitioners, including practice management software and electronic services, intraoral and extraoral dental imaging films, processing chemistry and x-ray equipment; direct-digital dental x-ray technology; digital cameras and accessories for dental applications; photographic-quality paper for printing digital images; COOK-WAITE brand local anesthetics; and a variety of related products and services. Infoimaging unites three closely related imaging markets that enable people to more easily take and share images as information: devices, such as digital cameras and x-ray systems; infrastructure, such as practice management software; and services and media, such as photographic-quality inkjet paper and electronic claim processing.
For more information about Kodak's digital radiography products and practice management solutions, call 1-800-944-6365, visit Kodak's Health Imaging Dental Systems Group website at http://www.kodak.com/go/dental or contact your regional KODAK products representative.