News Feature | October 19, 2016

Medical Image Market News: $Billion Growth Projections And IBM Acquires Merge

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

Healthcare Spending

The medical image management market (which covers PACS systems, VNAs and AICAs) has had some interesting developments over the last few months.  

An Acquisition By IBM
Medical image management company, Merge Healthcare, recently announced its purchase by IBM for just over $1 billion. The deal was approved by a strong majority of their shareholders and marks a continued push into health data-related acquisitions by IBM.

Market Growth
Beyond that, a report released by Markets and Markets predicts growth in the sector to jump from $4.22 billion this year to $5.78 billion by 2021, equaling a CAGR of 6.5 percent over that same time period. Factors fueling the growth include:

  • advancements in technology around diagnostic imaging modalities and image management solutions
  • increased investments in the market
  • EMR/EHR adoption being encouraged by government initiatives
  • an increase in usage of imaging equipment
  • notable growth in geriatric imaging volumes and adoption of VNA
  • an increase in adoption of image management systems among small hospitals and imaging centers
  • the general and rapid growth of big data in healthcare

However, it is expected growth will see some dampening because of the longer product lifecycle of VNAs as well as general budgetary restraints.

Market Segmentation
The medical image management market is broken into the segments: Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS); Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA); and Application Independent Clinical Archive (AICA).

PACS is expected to retain the largest share in 2016, largely because it is the oldest technology in the market. Additionally, the adoption of PACS in new imaging segments (such as mammography, oncology, endoscopy, and ophthalmology) is a contributor. In regard to end users, segmentation is as follows:

  • diagnostic imaging centers
  • hospitals
  • other end users (small clinics, ambulatory surgical clinics, contract research organizations)

In terms of geography, North America dominates medical image management with the U.S. claiming the lion’s share, much of which is due to the country’s growing geriatric population, high incidence and prevalence of diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease, large number of imaging centers, fast adoptions of advanced technology, ongoing research, and increased awareness about the benefits of early disease diagnosis. Key players include McKesson Corporation, GE Company, Fujifilm Holdings Corporation, Merge Healthcare Inc., Agfa-Gevaert Group, Philips Healthcare, Siemens Healthcare, Carestream Health, Inc., BridgeHead Software, and Novarad Corporation.

The full report is available here starting at $5650.