Magic wands and pointed wizard hats were seen at Chicago’s McCormick Place in December last year. Did Hogwart’s, Harry Potter’s alma mater, add radiology technology to its curricula? No, the fun, games and cookies were part of Magical Mysteries day at Camp RSNA, an on-site daycare center designed to entertain kids who accompanied their parents traveling to the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, still the largest medical technology extravaganza in the United States.

While the little kids enjoyed post-movie naps downstairs, the big kids with big bucks fervently pounded RSNA’s Technical Exhibit floor in search of multimillion-dollar toys. Industry acquisitions meant there were fewer company names to remember this year, but the show didn’t seem any smaller. The booths of the big three — GE Medical Systems (GEMS of Waukesha, Wis.), Siemens Medical Solutions (Iselin, N.J.) and Philips Medical Systems (Bothell, Wash.) — were larger. Yet their new dominance is creating new obligations. In all three booths, post-merger support was a hot topic.

Philips’ recent buying spree, acquiring medical product lines from Marconi, Agilent, ATL, ADAC, Medcare and others, left RSNA-goers curious about the company’s service plans.

“When you put the total organization together, Customer Services is now 3,400 people here in North America,” said Paul Murdoch, senior vice president for Customer Services at Philips Medical Systems. “It changed the whole road map for Philips in terms of presence in the field.”

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