Provider looking over MRI scans

The Shifting Market of Global PACS

KLAS’ recent Global PACS 2019 report speaks to a shifting non-US market for PACS solutions. Many healthcare organizations are looking for imaging vendors that will meet their long-term and short-term needs. With perspectives from 272 organizations in 48 countries outside of the US, we are able to take a closer look at vendor performance for both global and regional vendors.

Overall Performance

We measured the performance of both multiregional and regional vendors on delivering new technology and current product usability. The below chart compares both the current and future state of all the vendors. Customers of vendors in the upper right feel like they're moving the product forward quickly, and the product’s current state is good. Customers of vendors in the bottom left are feeling like the product is not where they want it to be, and development is potentially starting to fall behind.

delivery of new technology vs product score


A Shifting Market

There is a shift in the PACS market in terms of demands and what people expect from their imaging vendor; other market changes are also contributing to the shifting expectations around vendor performance. Several of these shifts are tied to vendor acquisitions. Customer bases for both Intelerad and Change Healthcare have reported notable shifts since the vendors’ acquisitions three years ago, but we really started seeing these shifts being voiced by customers in the last 18 months or so.

Carestream was also acquired by Philips, who recently announced that Carestream’s product line is going to be their go-forward platform. That information had not yet been finalized during our research for this report, but we now have it on our radar at KLAS. We are watching to see what will happen with Carestream’s acquisition and how it will impact their customer base moving forward. In another significant shift, Fujifilm is attempting to roll out their new platform, which has led to some challenges with customers.

On a more general note, many providers are also looking for one solution that encompasses not only radiology but also all their other imaging specialties, like cardiology. Organizations consolidating to one system is definitely a shift in the market. AI is also already a reality for some imaging vendors that have it embedded in their solutions.

Global Versus Regional Vendors

Regional vendors are often good options for providers to look into. They meet their local providers’ needs easily because they already know the country’s health system. Regional vendors are also generally less expensive than some of the bigger names out there. Part of that is due to their business model; they don’t have the overhead of trying to expand in other countries.

But as people make a PACS decision for their organization, it’s important to keep in mind the imaging landscape and to know how imaging decisions are changing. Many providers are not focused solely on getting a radiology PACS, as we previously mentioned. They are looking at the broader imaging landscape and incorporating pieces like the VNA into their decisions (KLAS also recently published a report on Global VNA solutions that could be helpful in that area).

Some regional players do not currently offer those additional pieces of functionality. Their portfolios are generally not as broad as those of multiregional vendors like GE, Agfa Healthcare, and Fujifilm. That is not to say that regional vendors cannot meet providers’ needs; their scores are high, and their customers are pleased with what they bring to the table. But as organizations start to evaluate their future strategy, they need to have in mind this information. Providers need to be asking whether a system meets their needs today and whether it will continue to meet their needs in the future.

We are seeing a few regional vendors start to expand into new regions, VISUS and PaxeraHealth in particular. That expansion is slow and still in its early stages, but we are watching it to see how well those vendors can translate what they've done in their core regions to other regions. We're interested to see whether their delivery drops off as we have seen in some other expanding multiregional vendors or whether they maintain the high standard that they've established with their regional customer base.

To learn more about how a vendor is performing in your region, we recommend reading the full Global PACS 2019 report.




     Photo cred: Adobe Stock, natali_mis