Report: Double-digit growth to propel PACS market to $5.4B by 2017

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The global PACS market, valued at $2.8 billion in 2010, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10 percent to reach $5.4 billion by 2017, according to a report titled “Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) – Global Opportunity Assessment, Competitive Landscape and Market Forecasts to 2017.”

This double digit growth can be attributed to significant government initiatives to encourage the digitalization of healthcare systems as well as substantial technological advancements in imaging IT, according to Rockville, Md.-based

Moreover, the drive for digitalization of image storage, retrieval and exchange has rapidly expanded the PACS market to other medical specialties such as oncology and endoscopy. As a result, there will be higher demand among providers and shifting focus for vendors, health systems and regulatory agencies.

Another motivator for improving image management is the shifting of global demographics, according to The world population is expected to exceed 9.1 billion by 2050, and the proportion of this population aged 65 years or older is forecast to more than double during this period. These demographic trends have compelled governments to expand their efforts in pushing the adoption of PACS in order to increase hospital productivity and clinical outcomes. Significant economic and legislative incentives have been approved by governments in North America, several countries in Europe, and in China and India, to promote the digitalization of healthcare workflow.

“The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, with its three-staged meaningful use adoption of healthcare IT systems and $27 billion in cumulative incentives, provides significant impetus to imaging information systems,” wrote

One previous barrier to PACS implementation, the large upfront cost, has been somewhat eliminated due to the growth of cloud-based PACS using a software-as-a-service model. This has spurred PACS penetration into small and medium scale practices, while other technologies, such as integrated speech recognition and clinical support systems, also have expanded the PACS customer pool, according to

Some other highlights from the report:

  • The U.S. is the largest market for PACS, holding about 51 percent of the total market. Japan is second with about 24 percent of the market.
  • GE Healthcare is the leading vendor in terms of market share capturing 16 percent of the PACS market in 2010.
  • Other leading PACS companies include Fujifilm Medical Systems, Agfa Healthcare, McKesson and Siemens Healthcare with market shares of 14, 10, 8 and 7 percent, respectively.