PACS merger fails to leave ground

January 27, 1993

Talks broke down this month on the proposed merger of picturearchiving and communications systems firms Image Data and Genesys(SCAN 12/30/92). James M. Karlak, Image Data executive vice presidentand COO confirmed the termination of the talks. The logic

Talks broke down this month on the proposed merger of picturearchiving and communications systems firms Image Data and Genesys(SCAN 12/30/92). James M. Karlak, Image Data executive vice presidentand COO confirmed the termination of the talks.

The logic was sound in attempting to combine Genesys' higherend PACS based on IBM's RS/6000 Unix workstation with Image Data'slarge teleradiology presence, Karlak said. But the two firms werenot able to reach agreement on terms for a merger.

Image Data of San Antonio, TX, will continue its drive in themedical market. The vendor has accelerated its own efforts todevelop a premium PACS offering for the hospital market, Karlaksaid.

Two of Image Data's PC-based StatView electronic film distributionsystems have been sold and more are under evaluation by hospitals,he said. StatView was the firm's initial stab at expanding fromits teleradiology base.

"Our focus remains on the medical market and on providinga full solution for hospital image management. We will be movingup into the Unix world," he said.

BRIEFLY NOTED

  • Mobile Technology (MTI), the largest mobile MRI provider,moved this month to build its fixed-site imaging services business,while cutting costs in the declining mobile niche. The Los Angelesfirm eliminated 120 positions and created 12 area business managerpositions with profit and loss responsibility for six to 12 MRIunits each. MTI also restructured its debt to reduce interestexpense.

While slow to convert to fixed-site from mobile MRI servicesin the past, MTI has now adopted this strategy wholeheartedly.A program to convert mobile clients to fixed-site MRI was initiatedby president and CEO Joseph W. Cilurzo. Cilurzo replaced MTI founderRonald D. Van Horssen last year (SCAN 6/17/92).

The mobile MRI business is dying a natural death as clientsbuild their procedure volume to a point where they can justifybuying systems. The number of MRI scans is growing at a 10% to15% annual rate, MTI said.

"Any forward-looking MR provider's strategy needs to recognizethat the mobile business is shrinking and will continue to declinefor the foreseeable future. Mobile business can continue to besecured on the basis of excellence in service, but that servicemust be provided at the lowest possible cost," the companysaid.

  • Picker International reentered the British medical imagingmarket this month, two years ahead of schedule. Picker was prohibitedfrom selling new systems in the U.K. following an agreement betweenits British parent General Electric Co. (GEC) and General Electricof the U.S. in 1989 (SCAN 4/26/89).

The agreement with GE originally called for Picker to refrainfrom sales until 1995, but the two companies agreed to changethe date to 1993. Medical imaging sales may accelerate in theU.K. following legislation that gives hospitals more latitudeto buy systems. The current British market for diagnostic imagingsystems is about $130 million a year, estimated Christopher J.Peabody, Picker senior vice president for international operations.