PNN Vednor Profile: DeJarnette begins shift to complete PACS offerings

October 1, 1999

DeJarnette begins shift to complete PACS offeringsFirm plans late 1999 introduction of RadianceHaving survived the ups and downs of the PACS industry for more than a decade, DeJarnette Research Systems has set its sights on becoming as

DeJarnette begins shift to complete PACS offeringsFirm plans late 1999 introduction of Radiance

Having survived the ups and downs of the PACS industry for more than a decade, DeJarnette Research Systems has set its sights on becoming as successful in the systems business as it has been in the components realm. The company plans to release its first complete PACS offering at the 1999 RSNA meeting, and increasingly relies on direct sales rather than OEM channels for distribution of its technology. The vendor has experienced explosive growth since the early 1990s, and today averages 60% annual revenue increases, according to DRS founder and president Wayne DeJarnette.

DRS began in the early 1980s as a one-man consulting firm specializing in medical imaging and multimodality displays. This work led DeJarnette to become involved in the development of the ACR-NEMA and DICOM standards in the mid 1980s. He then elected to discontinue consulting and concentrate on developing systems integration products for a market that did not yet recognize the need for such devices.

“We were originally a one-trick pony,” DeJarnette said. “Then we were given the opportunity to develop these protocol converters, and as we did that we learned about more opportunities and began developing various PACS components.”

Using $850,000 in state and federal grants, DeJarnette hired some engineers and embarked on DRS’s first commercial product line, protocol converters. The company’s first real product was a single computer board that fit inside an IBM PC and allowed GE Medical Systems CT and MR scanners to be connected to a network. DRS then took that board and wrote some application software, and it became the ImageShare 910, the company’s first-generation multimodality protocol converter. Today, DRS continues to realize significant revenue from its DICOM-to-DICOM conversion technology.

“The need for some of these boxes has been obviated by the development of DICOM, but we still sell a lot of (second-generation) protocol converters,” he said. “And we will be developing a third-generation product because the need for these has not gone away.”

Other current products in the DRS stable include ImageShare acquisition workstations, VisiShare Windows NT-based display workstations (developed in collaboration with Columbia Scientific), MediShare IQ database manager and HIS/RIS interface, NetShare IQ DICOM connectivity device, and the TeleShare and TeleView teleradiology systems.

A shift to full PACSBut as part of an overall change in the way the company approaches PACS, DRS is planning to enter the full-scale PACS market with the launch of Radiance. Demonstrated at last year’s RSNA meeting as a work-in-progress, Radiance leverages off the company’s expertise in PACS components, incorporating VisiShare, MediShare IQ, and NetShare IQ components, as well as a long-term DLT archive from StorageTek. The system also features an optimized display component designed to improve work flow, and makes use of neutral object application habitat (NOAH) archive architecture, a distributed system concept that provides for easy forward migration to new long-term storage technologies, DeJarnette said.

“What really distinguishes Radiance from other products is that it is the first real third-generation PACS that is not based on a migration from a previous design or technology or architecture,” DeJarnette said.

DRS plans to begin selling Radiance at this year’s RSNA meeting and continues to do some fine-tuning on its beta site installation at Akron General Hospital in Ohio. Other new products, including a stand-alone teleradiology solution and an integrated RIS/PACS system, are planned for launch at this year’s RSNA meeting as well. DRS also plans to announce a new partnership with Voxar that will take advantage of that company’s 3-D reconstruction software.

DRS has relied primarily on OEM relationships throughout much of its history, supplying a variety of components to all the large-scale PACS vendors at one time or another, DeJarnette said. But the company has begun shifting its sales strategy to direct sales in recent years to take advantage of what DeJarnette views as the PACS industry’s coming of age. Direct end-user sales now account for 85% of DRS’s business, versus just 30% two years ago, and are expected to continue to supplant the company’s OEM sales.

“Protocol converters were almost a 100% OEM business for us in the early 1990s,” DeJarnette said. “But we have learned some things in this industry from the first- and second-generation systems, and I think PACS will become much more affordable, will solve many more problems in terms of work flow, and will be something you have to have to be in business.”

Part of the company’s new strategy includes taking a more integrated approach to the PACS and radiology markets and developing components for multiple applications in addition to full-scale PACS products. In line with this, DRS recently purchased Swearingen Software, a Houston-based radiology information system (RIS) firm with whom DRS was already partnered (PNN 1/99). Among other things, DRS plans to integrate Swearingen’s RMS RIS with the Radiance PACS product line to give customers access to joint RIS/PACS solutions with significant work flow benefits, according to DeJarnette.

Other operational changes in the offing include plans to go public sometime in the next three to five years. In the meantime, DRS—which DeJarnette said is approached about 10 times a year by interested buyers—will evaluate all options to continue its high growth rate.

“We will continue to grow based upon internal business and existing business, but we are looking more and more at acquisitions,” DeJarnette said.

DeJarnette Research Systems

401 Washington Ave., Suite 1010
Towson, MD 21204
410/583-0680
fax: 410/583-0696

dejarnette.com

Key personnelWayne DeJarnette, president
Dian Hicks, director of business operations
Susan Lewis, director of sales
Eric John Finegan, director of regulatory and quality affairs
Daniel Riordan, director of manufacturing and service
Alan Orth, director of marketing and product management

Product lineImageShare acquisition workstations
NetShare protocol conversion gateway
LaserShare DICOM print spooler
Radiance PACS
VisiShare displays
MediShare medical informatics gateway
PACSware software development toolkit
TeleShare teleradiology device
TeleView teleradiology display

Product distributionDirect sales and OEM sales

PartnersSwearingen Software (recently acquired); Columbia Scientific; Pegasus Imaging; Voxar

Strategic focusDeJarnette sees itself as a medical informatics vendor with an emphasis on radiology. The company’s goal is to provide products and applications that address the changing needs of the electronic medical imaging and informatics marketplace.