U.S. PACS market has room to grow

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The U.S. Turnkey Radiology PACS Market earned revenues of $1.10 billion in 2005 and estimates this to reach $1.77 billion in 2012 as the digitization of medical imaging in the nation sustains, according to a report published by Frost & Sullivan.

PACS offerings will continue to expand functionality to constitute complete medical image and information management tools, the company says. Furthermore, PACS-based solutions will continue evolving to include departments other than radiology. PAC systems are in line to take over medical image management throughout the enterprise in the near future. The ever-expanding scope of PACS implementations, coupled with growing end-users' expectations, challenge PACS vendors to broaden and integrate their portfolio of clinical solutions, says Frost & Sullivan. Vendors promoting the adoption of PACS throughout the enterprise and gaining expertise in departments outside radiology are more likely to thrive in the market in the mid-term.

"Moving away from siloed and proprietary solutions, enterprise PAC systems need to constitute the image management component within a larger enterprise IT infrastructure," states Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Nadim Daher. As indicated by tighter integration of RIS and PACS, the worlds of HL7 and DICOM are merging, and the trend is combined information and images in the form of an all-encompassing image-enabled EMR.

With only one in three hospitals and one of seven imaging centers having a PACS, the U.S. PACS market still offers significant leeway, in addition to great opportunities for large-scale PACS replacements, the company says.

To access the entire report, go to www.medicalimaging.frost.com.