PACS: A Look at a High-Energy Market - Cover

PACS: A Look at a High-Energy Market

There is a lot of energy in the US PACS market right now. Many healthcare organizations are evaluating what solutions are available for purchase, particularly as they look to refine their enterprise imaging strategy and take advantage of new technology. To share what is happening in this market, we recently published our 2023 PACS report, which uses Decision Insights data to show which vendors are top of mind and being selected in the many deals happening in the market.

The Appetite for New Technology

Healthcare organizations are eager for new imaging technology to drive efficiencies and enhance patient care. Many organizations that are on aging or legacy systems want to keep pace with the advancing technology, and they are actively making decisions to move to go-forward platforms that can help them do so. Such a decision often leads to a crossroads: should the organization stick with their current vendor or explore new options? Amid mergers and acquisitions occurring among healthcare organizations, PACS decisions are frequently fueled by the desire to consolidate to a single, streamlined system, which can lead to cost savings and simplified operations.

Moreover, the PACS market is on the brink of transformative changes with AI and cloud computing. These innovations promise to revolutionize how medical imaging is stored, accessed, and analyzed. Organizations are now more than ever considering the potential of these technologies and seeking a PACS vendor that can successfully deliver them to drive improved patient care and operational efficiency. The goal is to leverage the latest technological advancements to improve patient care and operational efficiency. As such, the selection of a PACS vendor is no longer just about moving to a newer system; it's about choosing a partner that can facilitate a leap into the future of medical imaging.

Increasingly, these decisions are not being made within the context of just radiology. Organizations are looking to expand their horizons with enterprise imaging strategies encompassing additional service lines and specialties, and there are high expectations for vendors to support imaging at a broader level across the organization. This expansion is not limited to radiology and cardiology but extends to other specialties that require integration with enterprise imaging strategies.

How Will the Market Continue to Shift?

We predict that there will be a lot of energy and churn in the coming years. There is still a large base of organizations that are on aging or legacy solutions that will continue making go-forward decisions. Additionally, a decrease in customer satisfaction among some vendors in the market has driven an increase in customers’ appetites to evaluate other options, and if the ship is not righted soon, we may see a further exodus toward higher-performing vendors. All this being said, it will be intriguing to see how vendors perform for customers in the coming years and who will subsequently maintain energy in the market.

Insights from the Data

As this report came together, it was interesting to quantify vendors’ considerations, selections, and replacements and subsequently see how clearly the market has divided into market leaders, those who are in the middle seeing both wins and losses, and those who are primarily losing market share. It was also fascinating to more clearly quantify the decisions of customers on aging and legacy systems and how frequently they are considering or selecting their incumbent vendor versus moving to other options.

Two vendors with significant net-new selections and high retention in today's market are Sectra and Visage Imaging. Sectra is a major force in the market, as they are the most highly considered and selected vendor. And Visage Imaging is an up-and-coming competitor that has been selected in very large-volume deals and has demonstrated significant growth. Of note, Visage Imaging is unique because they are often considered for their diagnostic viewer, and almost all organizations that have selected them are using a separate solution for their back-end archive. This just goes to show that this report covers not only traditional PACS decisions but also nontraditional decisions for when organizations are searching for the best options to meet their technology needs.

consideration rate vs part of long term plans

Looking Forward to Future Research

As KLAS continues to research the PACS market, we are excited to see how a few things unfold. Many vendors are rolling out updates or new platforms to deliver new technology to their customers, and we are eager to see how they are received by customers and the impact on their organizations. Additionally, the effects of numerous acquisitions (some of which occurred during the data-collection window for this report) are still playing out in the market, and it will be interesting to explore how these will affect healthcare organizations and the market long term.

We will continue to report on how well vendors are delivering for their customers in this dynamic market. In the future, we look forward to providing a deeper look into how they are meeting the needs of organizations of various sizes, with more detailed breakouts into the larger end of the market handling over 500,000 studies annually. We are also looking forward to examining the adoption of new technologies, such as cloud and AI, as they become more commonplace. Look for these details and more in our next PACS report, which is projected to publish in the first half of 2024. 

For more details, check out the 2023 PACS report on our website.

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