TECH: PACS in 450 words or less!

I have an article up at Health-IT World which is about the evolution of PACS — largely based on a long interview I did recently with Oran Muduroglu, a founder of Stentor which Philips bought last year. I found it pretty tough to squeeze this one into the few words allotted, as it’s largely about a market and tech evolution that’s pretty messy! Again feel free to come back here and comment.

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  1. Great article Matthew. The third generation of digital connectivity for radiology is underway as well – sharing of digital images and reports beyond the enterprise to both improve care as well as eliminate redundant imaging that is caused by the fragmentation of healthcare, especially in competitive urban markets. Harvard’s Center for Information Technology Leadership estimates that up to 20% of radiology studies may be unnecessary duplicates!
    Radiology now represents the second largest cost for health plans (and medicare) behind pharmaceuticals and, according to a recent HealthLeaders study, is growing almost twice as fast. Health plans have begun targeting this spending through pre-authorization and other radiology utilization mangement techniques that anger physicians and providers. The combination of the increasing penetration of PACS and RIS combined with the skyrocketing expense of imaging makes radiology the perfect specialty to realize the tremendous clinical and financial benefits of next generation HCIT without further damaging the always-fragile payer-provider-patient relationship.

  2. Although estimates vary most people put it around 50%. Almost all large urban hospitals have it though meaning that new buyers are likely to be smaller rural hospitals, imaging centers, or also large hospitals who hate their PACS and their vendor and want a new one. This is very common with Siemens and Kodak PACS.

  3. Steve–thanks for the nice words. No I am not in radiology, although I have had three MRIs! I’m a general health care consultant who looks at tech from a business perspective. I have no specilized tech skills, but a fair amount of market knowledge, and I write those pieces assuming that people know what a category is broadly (e.g. PACS) but dont really know what trends are going on under the numbers (e.g. 30% of hospitals have PACS).

  4. Interesting. I agree about enterprise image distribution. We are achieving it another way. We have used Terarecon at our institutions where we have GE and Agfa. Tera allows for access to any type of images throughout the enterprise and 3D visulization is thrown in. PACS vendors are often slow about integrating new features. Tera has allowed us to fill on some of the gaps.
    Are you in Radiology? I just started reading your blog last week and really enjoy it, even if i don’t always agree.