SmartPACS develops PACS solutions for lower volume facilities

September 25, 2002

ASP offerings account for most revenuesThe aim of New Jersey-based SmartPACS is to develop a lineup of PACS solutions that addresses the capital, IT, and project management concerns of small- to medium-sized facilities. Facilities

ASP offerings account for most revenues

The aim of New Jersey-based SmartPACS is to develop a lineup of PACS solutions that addresses the capital, IT, and project management concerns of small- to medium-sized facilities. Facilities performing as few as 10,000 exams per year should be able to cost-effectively implement PACS, according to SmartPACS CEO David Parker.

"Anybody who generates images is a good candidate for PACS," he said.

SmartPACS was formed in 1999 with exactly that thought in mind. Parker and Maureen Kelleher (North Atlantic Networks) joined with Bob Blake and David Smarro (Standard X-Ray of New Jersey) and Michael Smith (Delta Imaging of Nashville). From their jobs in the x-ray/healthcare IT market, they had identified a common need for teleradiology and mini-PACS emerging from their customer bases, Parker said. The new company responded to that need by developing a line of PACS offerings suited to facilities performing from 10,000 to 150,000 exams per year.

In addition to sharing a need for IT, these customers have other things in common, as well, Parker said: a lack of capital, dearth of IT support, and lack of familiarity with the overall PACS purchase and implementation process. Today the 35-employee company sells to and supports its customer base with its own staff or through the resources of its ally, National Imaging Resources, a medical imaging equipment sales and service company.

About 70% of SmartPACS' revenues come from application service provider (ASP) offerings. These run the gamut from enterprise-wide distribution solutions to local storage, teleradiology, and DICOM integration and conversion. The company even provides x-ray upgrades and equipment replacement. Another 20% comes from PACS or ASP contracts combined with products such as voice dictation or RIS. Only about 10% of SmartPACS' revenues come from the sale or lease of conventional PACS.

The PACS software used by the company was developed by Mediface, a Korean PACS company with installations in Asia, Europe, and, through SmartPACS, the U.S. The two companies have a long-term contractual alliance, Parker said.

"But we are moving in the direction of a joint venture," he said.

The company's revenues so far this year are running 800% ahead of 2001. Parker expects this rate of growth to continue, at least for the next year or so. The company hopes to increase its total of installed PACS sites from the current dozen to 20 by June 2003. Although its existing sites are all within the U.S., SmartPACS plans to begin targeting healthcare facilities in Canada and the Caribbean.

"We have some things we're working on right now, and we'd like to be able to show some significant progress in (the Canadian) market by the RNSA meeting," Parker said.

SmartPACS will be highlighting three new products at the show: the latest version of its core viewing software, PiView 5.0; PiView with 3D; and an upgraded Web product. These products may be sold into SmartPACS' traditional market--and beyond.

"Many of the people we're talking to now are from two- or three-hospital groups," Parker said.