GE awakens to success in PACS

November 1, 1998

GE awakens to success in PACSThe PACS market appears to have witnessed the awakening of sleeping giant.The giant is GE Medical Systems, which finally seems to be realizing the promise of PACS after years of Rip Van Winkle-like hibernation.

GE awakens to success in PACS

The PACS market appears to have witnessed the awakening of sleeping giant.

The giant is GE Medical Systems, which finally seems to be realizing the promise of PACS after years of Rip Van Winkle-like hibernation. Although Agfa and Siemens currently control the lion's share of the market (with numerous others battling for a piece of the action), GE can no longer be underestimated.

GE has kept a low profile in PACS throughout the year, but indications are that the Milwaukee company is enjoying unprecedented success in digital image management. Insiders report that the vendor is on track to record $80 million in orders this year for PACS equipment, with several luminary sites among its large-scale installations.

The achievement comes after years of GE missteps in the modality. GE has offered multiple forms of PACS products in the market since the early 1980s, such as its partnership with IBM on the Integrated Diagnostics PACS, but with little success. GE's purchase of Lockheed Martin's PACS unit in 1997 signaled the beginning of the turnaround, and that movement has gained steam now that GE has hired many of the PACS market's leading lights to spearhead its Integrated Imaging Solutions division.

What impact will GE's success have on other companies in the industry? Fortunately, the PACS market is growing at such a pace that everyone can be satisfied. But the rise of GE may be a sign that the big multimodality vendors are finally claiming PACS turf from many of the smaller companies that pioneered the industry.

Michael J. Cannavo, president,

Image Management Consultants