Studies & Surveys

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U.S. PACS market has room to grow

The U.S. Turnkey Radiology PACS Market earned revenues of $1.1 billion in 2005 and estimates show it will reach $1.77 billion in 2012 as the digitization of medical imaging in the nation sustains, according to a new report published by Frost & Sullivan.

PACS offerings will continue to expand functionality to constitute complete medical image and information management tools, the company says. 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, the report says. 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.

To access the entire report, go to

MRI market to grow globally beyond $4 billion by 2010

Key developments in MRI systems — such as the evolution to open architecture — have led to MRI becoming the system of choice for assorted imaging procedures for organs and structures (i.e., brain, spine, bones, joints). Because of this evolution, the MRI market has hit $3.5 billion worldwide and will likely top $4 billion by 2010, according to a new study released from Kalorama Information called Medical Imaging Markets, Volume II: Magnetic Resonance.

Key factors for the growth are expected to be increases in the use of interventional MRI in brain surgery and expanded use of MRI diffusion imaging to diagnose strokes and other injuries to the brain.

Pay for performance could save lives, costs

A Premier healthcare alliance study shows that wider adoption of quality measures such as those demonstrated in a Medicare pay-for-performance project could save thousands of lives and reduce costs. The report evaluated patients treated for pneumonia, heart bypass, heart attack, and hip and knee replacements nationally that received most or all of a set of established care processes in 2004. The results show that if all patients in that year were treated with the guidelines, it could have resulted in nearly 5,700 fewer deaths; 8,100 fewer complications; 10,000 fewer readmissions; and 750,000 fewer days in the hospital. Hospital costs could have been as much as $1.35 billion lower.

Nurses: Health IT improves patient care

A study indicates that nurses believe health IT has strong potential to improve patient care but cite significant challenges to realizing its full potential. The Nurses Talk Tech, coordinated by CDW Healthcare, evaluated the responses of more than 550 nurses in the United States.
“In this first-of-its-kind study of how nurses view the technology they use on the job, we learned that those on the front lines of care delivery embrace the power of IT to help improve the speed and quality of patient care,” said Bob Rossi, general manager for CDW Healthcare.

Physician groups see small revenue increases

Physician groups in various medical specialty areas made modest gains (6 percent) in income during 2005, according to the American Medical Group Association’s 2006 Medical Group Compensation & Financial Survey. About 89 percent of the specialties experienced increases in compensation, with primary-care specialties seeing an 8 percent increase, with other medical and surgical specialties showing 6 percent and 5 percent increases, respectively. The specialties showing the largest gains were dermatology and gastroenterology.