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ADAC eyes expansion into PACS marketplace with Envoi


ADAC eyes expansion into PACS marketplace with EnvoiRIS vendor forming key OEM partnershipsHealthcare information systems vendors have traditionally struggled in their attempts to enter the PACS marketplace. But with market interest

ADAC eyes expansion into PACS marketplace with Envoi

RIS vendor forming key OEM partnerships

Healthcare information systems vendors have traditionally struggled in their attempts to enter the PACS marketplace. But with market interest starting to swell for enterprise-wide access to medical images and information, some of these firms have begun to increase their activity in this sector. Among them is ADAC Laboratories, a company known primarily for its nuclear medicine cameras and radiology information systems.

But the Milpitas, CA-based vendor is positioning itself to become a major PACS player by expanding its image and information management business and establishing some key partnerships with well-established archiving and PACS vendors. Through its HealthCare Information Systems division in Houston, ADAC markets its popular QuadRIS radiology information system as well as Envoi, a modular image and information management package introduced at last year’s RSNA meeting (PNN 2/99). Envoi, which employs open-architecture, Web-enabled tools such as CORBA and Oracle, runs on the same UNIX and Windows NT platforms as QuadRIS and is designed to make radiology images and information available throughout the healthcare delivery network.

Envoi comprises several ADAC products, including QuadRIS; Physician’s Desktop, an integrated voice recognition and digital dictation program; Intranet Image Server, which uses a browser-based front end to provide real-time access to images and reports from anywhere on the network; diagnostic and clinical review workstations, supplied through ADAC’s relationship with Applicare Medical Imaging (PNN 6/99); and the integrated Workflow Manager, a work-flow engine developed as part of the company’s involvement in the DIN-PACS project (PNN 3/99). Envoi currently does not support archiving.

As it moves to penetrate the PACS market, ADAC will benefit from its hefty RIS installed base. ADAC claims an 85% market share in the U.S. for multifacility client/server RIS, with 96 QuadRIS installations scheduled to be up and running by December. The company has only nine image management clients at present but expects to double that number in the next two quarters. Current Envoi customers include American Radiology Services in Baltimore and Health Alliance of Cincinnati, both of which are upgrading their QuadRIS installations to incorporate various components of the Envoi package. Image management alone is expected to account for $15 million of ADAC’s revenues in the current fiscal year (end-September 2000); the company reported overall revenues of $282 million in 1998.

Despite its small installed base, Envoi is at the heart of ADAC’s strategy to capture a more significant share of the PACS market in the coming year. The company plans to leverage off its existing QuadRIS customer base by offering an integrated PACS and information system that does not require additional hardware but still provides whatever degree of image management the customer desires. This is made possible by the modular nature of Envoi, according to Jay Deady, senior vice president of marketing for ADAC HealthCare Information Systems.

“Most of our QuadRIS clients have not yet made significant investment in image management, but 85% expect to do so in the next two years,” Deady said. “Given our market share lead in RIS, this gives us a bigger place to plug in our image management technologies.”

ADAC points to its Workflow Manager product to differentiate itself from its competitors. Workflow Manager is a nonproprietary software program that combines the functionality of a PACS broker with HL7 conversions, modality work-list functions, prefetching and autorouting, and a multitiered inference engine for more extensive work-flow and clinical-rules processing. ADAC owns the Workflow Manager program and has integrated it into QuadRIS, but also plans to make it available to other OEMs. In fact, because the Workflow Manager is not tied to a single archive or workstation, all rules are customizable by the client and any DICOM-compliant device can be attached to it. This makes Workflow Manager attractive to a broader audience than most other PACS workflow products, according to Deady.

“Besides being able to acquire an image and send it to a certain archive, we can OEM this to, say, a pharmaceutical company that wants to deliver clinical-rules processing,” he said. “So you end up with a PACS solution that is optimized to each environment.”

In addition to commercializing Workflow Manager and expanding its Envoi installations through the existing QuadRIS client base, ADAC expects to make two major announcements in the next few weeks that will greatly impact its PACS activities. While the company would not release details, Deady said ADAC is finalizing a major partnership that will resolve the archiving piece of its PACS puzzle.

In addition, as part of its strategy to support large-scale, multifacility, end-to-end PACS as well as less demanding image viewing and management needs outside the radiology department, ADAC is putting the final touches on a relationship with a “very large” company that has broad experience in healthcare information technologies and PACS, according to Deady. That relationship is expected to boost ADAC into the major leagues among PACS and integrated health IT vendors, he added.

“We don’t view the market anymore as being RIS, teleradiology, and PACS,” he said. “We see it as a single market that needs appropriate tools to solve various problems.”

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