GE continues M&A binge with acquisition of RIS firm

February 14, 2001

GE Medical's insatiable appetite for small firms with technologies it wants has led it to gobble up another one. The company's newest acquisition is Per-Se Technologies, a provider of radiology information systems (RIS). Terms of the agreement were not

GE Medical's insatiable appetite for small firms with technologies it wants has led it to gobble up another one. The company's newest acquisition is Per-Se Technologies, a provider of radiology information systems (RIS). Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Per-Se, which has a staff of 22, promises to bolster GE's already strong position in the integrated PACS/RIS market. The company's ProgRIS product will be integrated into GE's PathSpeed PACS with the intent of eventually offering a turnkey PACS/RIS product, according to GE.

For more than a decade, the firm has been methodically adding to its core PACS/RIS capability. GE was among the first multimodality vendors to publicly commit to the development of PACS/RIS 14 years ago. Over the past several years the company has worked closely with Cerner and IDX to offer integrated solutions, combining PathSpeed with both Cerner's RadNet and IDX's IDXRad.

GE began selling Cerner's RadNet product in 1998. The two companies reportedly were on the verge of merging. With GE's purchase last year of ADAC's information systems business, however, Cerner apparently opted to carve its own niche in the integrated systems market. Now GE, like many other PACS and HIS/RIS vendors, has followed suit.

Despite the purchase of ProgRIS and a stated goal of developing a stand-alone PACS/RIS product, GE plans to maintain its relationships with Cerner and IDX and will continue to support integrated solutions developed with these companies, according to Vishal Wanchoo, vice president of radiology systems at GE Medical Systems Information Technologies.

"ProgRIS is a proven technology that is supporting several large healthcare organizations and is an important complement to our image-management offering," Wanchoo said.

As part of the Per-Se purchase, GE gains an installed base of 90 sites, primarily larger hospitals. GE hopes to play off this installed base in the near term to increase its customer base in PACS/RIS, according to Wanchoo.

ProgRIS has been on the market for more than a decade and has long supported bidirectional PACS/RIS communication and remote report access via a Web-enabled browser. The latest iteration of the product, ProgRIS Interactive, was launched at the 1998 RSNA meeting and features enhanced Web-based report retrieval and integrated voice (via embedded IBM MedSpeak Active X technology), images, and text.