Distributor Avnet bumped up its healthcare IT offerings today when it announced the availability of new Vendor Neutral Archiving (VNA) solutions for its VARs. The new solutions and services offerings are designed to aid VARs looking to enter or build on existing business in the growing healthcare IT sector.

The new VNA solutions focus on storing and managing patient data and medical images. Also newly available to VARs is a healthcare imaging assessment service. The solutions are available through HealthPath, Avnet’s healthcare practice that is designed to help VARs quickly enter the healthcare solutions sector by providing educational training and resources as well as access to technology suppliers that focus on the healthcare market.The healthcare IT market is currently sized at $27 billion, according to Avnet, and, continues to offer promising potential growth for VARs.  Factors fueling market growth include the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which provides additional funding for moving to electronic patient records as well as increased patient privacy and regulation requirements.

To round out its VNA solutions, Avnet added three new independent software vendors specializing in the storage and management of electronic patient records and medical images. The companies are Acuo Technologies, a vendor of intelligent medical image management, archiving, and data migration tools; DeJarnette Research Systems, provider of  medical imaging workflow and medical image management software; and TeraMedica Healthcare Technology, a medical informatics company that provides software to collect and manage digital medical images from multiple healthcare data sources.

Also available to VARs is what Avnet calls, “Enterprise Medical Image Management Assessment services.” The assessment services focus on the analysis of existing medical imaging systems and providing technology roadmaps, ROI models, migration paths and resource optimization recommendations for VAR customers.

According to an Avnet spokesperson, Avnet VARs have shown growing interest in the healthcare sector because the sector continues to grow in the economic downturn, “Avnet has had tremendous growth in its healthcare practice. VARs see that healthcare IT has helped to get them through the recession. With these added services and solutions, we are positioning our VARS for better and greater success.”

Avnet partner Gray Consulting observed that the distributor is expanding its solution offering and changing from its traditional hardware distribution model and becoming more of a complete solutions provider to the VAR community.

“During our participation in five major VNA projects, Gray Consulting has observed the emergence of Avnet from its traditional role as a hardware distributor to that of a complete solutions distributor, combining the essential components of VNA from a variety of individual software sources like Acuo Technologies, DeJarnette Research and TeraMedica, and hardware sources like EMC, HP, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, NetApp and Sun Microsystems.”