An Update in Enterprise Imaging - Cover

An Update in Enterprise Imaging

It’s a bit of an understatement to say there are a lot of challenges in enterprise imaging right now, and that includes providers and vendors alike. The good news for everyone is that enterprise imaging is still growing. There are provider organizations who are trying to expand their enterprise imaging strategies. There are still major decisions that are being made. Many organizations also want to see what other vendors are doing with this challenging environment.

The Enterprise Imaging 2022 report is a much-needed update and provides visibility into the performance of enterprise imaging vendors. In part, this report helps us hold vendors accountable for how well they're able to support their enterprise imaging customers, even amidst these challenging times.

The Thousand-Foot View

The data in this report was collected over the course of a year, which was a tough period for healthcare. Even last spring, businesses were still closing down, going remote, and moving conferences because of the pandemic. Now organizations are starting to regroup; they are getting budgets back and getting staff members up and running. Going forward, the bar is high because we're launching what we would call a good year considering where we’re coming from.

We did see more performance scores drop than we were expecting. We attribute this to two main causes.

First, we're starting to see the difficult support environment take its toll. More and more customers are noticing that vendors are short on staff,  and there has also been a staffing shortage on the provider side. This scenario perhaps causes more friction between providers and their vendors than in the past.

Additionally, as we're coming out of the pandemic, we're seeing a lot more providers who are ready to innovate and see what's next. They want to know what their vendor is doing to push enterprise imaging forward. Meanwhile, many vendors have been slower to pick innovation back up.

There are some vendors who have been able to least stay consistent in their customer interactions. We don't really see improvements in scores, but the consistent vendors stand out in this report compared to those who have been carried down the stream of challenges, especially when it comes to the support and development of the platform.

The Five-Year Outlook

Despite the reality right now, the future is bright. There are technologies that people have talked about for a long time that hopefully will become staples rather than just buzzwords. Those include cloud technology, especially on the storage side with VNAs. This technology will likely become a lot more of a reality in five years. AI will also likely become more of a reality within that time frame.

We'll continue to see organizations adopt other cool technologies as part of their enterprise imaging strategy. For example, point-of-care ultrasound technology has definitely seen an uptick, and we'll continue to see that grow in the future. And there will likely be an uptick in digital pathology adoption. That will help with challenges like fitting massive cases into the storage strategy and still making those viewable to others in an organization. Between this report and the last one, we've also started to see some appreciable increases in cardiology becoming more of a standard part of the imaging strategy.

How to Move Forward

The overarching message of this report is that though there is a lot of room for improvement, there are still people who are pushing forward in difficult circumstances. But to move in more of a positive direction, there needs to be communication and partnership. If that idea clicks, many of these scores will start to increase again.

That is one thing providers and vendors can do now: communicate. It sounds so simple, but oftentimes, it’s not happening.

When we say communicate, we mean gaining an understanding of the strategy on the part of both the provider organization and the vendor. Communication is about coming together to have a unified strategy and a true partnership. Sure, that takes a lot of work. But when that partnership does happen, we see synergy that benefits both sides.

For specific information on vendor performance, please take a look at the report.

Photo credit: Gorodenkoff, Adobe Stock