The historically sustained growth in the radiology informatics market, continued thanks to solid annual growth in radiology picture archiving and communication systems (PACSs), finally reversed to negative territory for three consecutive years, from 2009 to 2011. During this period, revenue growth was pulled down by unfavorable macroeconomic factors including market saturation, lengthening replacement cycles and the focus of healthcare IT enterprises on electronic health record (EHR) related projects. However, the persisting need of medical imaging providers for new advanced system capabilities that reinforce the clinical, IT as well as the value proposition of the imaging enterprise to internal stakeholders and patients is warranting the replacement of legacy systems and the adoption of next generation image and information management platforms.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan's (medicalimaging.frost.com) Analysis of the North American Radiology Image and Information Management Systems Market research finds that the market earned revenues of $1.1 billion in 2011 and estimates this to reach $1.4 billion in 2018. The current dynamics in the radiology IT marketplace suggest that market revenues will revert to a steady but very slow growth path as the field embarks slowly but surely on a new wave of system replacements.
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An unfavorable growth landscape continues to prevail in the radiology informatics market space, owing to the slowing of imaging procedure volume growth and declining reimbursement levels over the last few years. In this context, radiology informatics vendors must readjust their business operations to their customer's reality of narrower profit margins and less capital-intensive revenue streams. As the industry continues to consolidate around a few key successful vendors catering to the large-scale end of the market, industry fragmentation is still intensifying in the smaller-scale segments.
"As vendors in the consolidated PACS industry strive to revive past growth synergies in the radiology informatics market, imaging providers are only slowly buying into the value proposition of new generation systems," said Frost & Sullivan Principal Analyst Nadim Daher. "In a market where PACS penetration is expected to cross the 90 percent mark across all imaging providers in 2014, replacement cycles stabilizing below the current seven year cycle could maintain sustainable – even if slow – revenue growth."
Small-scale imaging providers finally embarking on PACS technology as well as the nascent replacement market in the mid-scale segments of the provider landscape make it possible to offset the slow replacement patterns in the more lucrative large-scale segments of the market. The proven benefits of new generation PACS as well as integrated radiology information system (RIS) and PACS to the physician community and internal IT department will spur a wave of technology upgrades in the North American market, even if these follow longer than traditional replacement cycles.
"As providers' meaningful use efforts are getting increasingly closer to the realm of imaging informatics, positioning new PACS and integrated RIS/PACS systems as engines of growth for the enterprise will be key for radiology informatics vendors to push forward currently pending PACS replacement decisions," concluded Daher. "While new generation platforms are capable of aligning the incentives of the various imaging stakeholders scattered across the enterprise, this makes up for long, yet promising sales cycles for complex, yet beneficial system implementations."
Analysis of the North American Radiology Image and Information Management Systems Market is part of the Advanced Medical Technologies Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Medical Imaging Modalities and Services, Contrast and Radiopharma, Surgical and Orthopedic Solutions, Infection Control Systems, Wound Management, Patient Monitoring Solutions, Ventilation and Anesthesia, and Sleep Diagnostics and Therapy. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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Analysis of the North American Radiology Image and Information Management Systems Market / NAAB-54