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GE Medical is looking to gain a more dominant position in the integrated PACS/RIS market following the acquisition of Per-Se Technologies' radiology information systems business. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but 22 people at
GE Medical is looking to gain a more dominant position in the integrated PACS/RIS market following the acquisition of Per-Se Technologies' radiology information systems business. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but 22 people at Atlanta-based Per-Se are now part of GE's radiology systems group, along with Per-Se's ProgRIS technology. GE plans to integrate ProgRIS into its PathSpeed PACS and eventually offer a turnkey PACS/RIS product that will bear the GE logo.
This is not GE's first foray into integrated PACS/RIS. The company has been working closely with Cerner and IDX the past few years to offer integrated solutions by combining PathSpeed with Cerner's RadNet or IDX's IDXRad. Now GE wants its own horse to run in this expanding market segment race (HNN 1/10/01).
"Clearly, the intent is to integrate the RIS from Per-Se into PathSpeed and to be able to offer a turnkey solution," said Vishal Wanchoo, vice president of radiology systems at GE Medical Systems Information Technologies.
Despite the purchase of ProgRIS and the goal to develop a stand-alone PACS/RIS product, GE intends to maintain its relationships with Cerner and IDX and to continue to support the integrated solutions it has developed with these companies, according to Wanchoo. GE began selling Cerner's RadNet product in 1998, and the two companies reportedly were on the verge of merging at one point. But with GE's purchase last year of ADAC's information systems business, Cerner apparently opted to make its own mark in the integrated systems market. Now GE, like many other PACS and HIS/RIS vendors, has followed suit.
ProgRIS already has an established following that GE hopes to leverage in the near term. As part of the Per-Se purchase, GE gains an installed base of 32 customers at 90 sites, primarily larger hospitals, according to Wanchoo (Per-Se claims to have more than 2000 ProgRIS users nationwide). 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.
"ProgRIS is a proven technology that is supporting several large healthcare organizations and is an important complement to our image-management offering," Wanchoo said.