PACS to change future of European medical imaging industry
New analysis from market research firm Frost & Sullivan estimates that the European PACS market was worth $590.3 million in 2007 and is set to reach approximately $1.4 billion in 2014.

“Robust PACS will drive the market by offering integration with electronic patient records,” noted Frost & Sullivan research analyst Ranjit Ravindranathan. “Europe is a growing market, especially because of the ongoing efforts to digitalize the European healthcare system.”

The market for PACS, although mature in some parts of the region such as northern Europe, offers promising opportunities, according to the report. Sizeable capital investment is being ploughed in and the advantages of having a good data management system are being recognized by healthcare authorities, which will propel the change from purchasing mini PACS to enterprise-wide deployments, Frost & Sullivan noted.

Although customizing PACS projects is lucrative, it stretches vendors’ capabilities. The provision of open architecture due to the growing sophistication and the increasing complexity of solutions also present a challenge to market participants, according to the report.

“Enterprise-wide deployments are creating technical issues and political challenges within departments,” added Ravindranathan. “Decision making and project sign-off time are, moreover, intensifying the pressure on vendors even as cost-effective, value-added features offered by smaller vendors pose a challenge to tier-one participants.”

Customizing PACS modules and providing a smooth integrated workflow environment are keys to the success of vendors. PACS providers capable of delivering solutions that offer these attributes will be able to leverage their expertise and win prized contracts. Consequently, remaining focused on product development is vital to securing the competitive edge, he added.

“Specialist participants already possess the required expertise to carve niches for themselves,” Ravindranathan concluded. “However, these firms will have to concentrate on building strategic alliances to boost their visibility in the industry and gain better access to decision makers.”