The Big Picture: Consolidating market rears its head againBy Erik L. Ridley, EditorWho’s next? That’s the question many market watchers are asking following the latest spate of mergers and acquisitions in the rapidly consolidating PACS
By Erik L. Ridley, Editor
Whos next? Thats the question many market watchers are asking following the latest spate of mergers and acquisitions in the rapidly consolidating PACS sector. The power of this trend was evident in the last six weeks, when two long-time PACS market participants officially ceased to exist as independent firms.
While Applicare Medical Imagings prominent role as a PACS software developer appears secure in its new life as a subsidiary of GE Medical Systems (see story, page 2), the Olicon Imaging Systems brand name will soon be retired as part of its acquisition by ALI Imaging Systems, and the future of Olicons technology has yet to be determined.
The acquisitions continue market trends in evidence in other recent deals and corporate moves. ALI chose to acquire Olicon in large part to build its installed base, while GE pursued Applicare to broaden its product line to include support for teleradiology and miniPACS implementations, as well as to improve its geographical sales coverage.
GEs move to improve its entry-level PACS configurations is similar to Agfas efforts under way at its PACS software developer, Impax Technology (PNN 5/99).
While many believe that consolidation will only help the PACS sector in the long run, mergers and acquisitions can cause uncertainty and pain in the short term. As such, prospective PACS purchasers would be wise to ask vendors tough questions about their long-term commitment to this market.