SOURCE: Kalorama Information

Kalorama Information

February 18, 2011 12:44 ET

"Will This PACS Work With an EMR?" a Key Concern of Hospitals

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 18, 2011) - Vendors of picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) will need to integrate their products to as many of their customers' EMR systems as they can in order to prosper, according to healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information's latest report, "US Market for PACS." Kalorama foresees that this market, which reached $1.46 billion in 2010, will continue to grow by double digits annually through 2015.

Most important patient care decisions today involve a medical image, and increasingly these images need to be digitized so they can be incorporated into EMRs. PACS enable x-rays and images to be viewed and stored electronically. As hospitals increasingly rely on advanced EMR systems for connecting and integrating all their patients' data into one accessible system, they will need compatible PACS.

"We see that customers are becoming pickier about which PACS they will use for managing their digital medical images and are demanding interoperability," notes Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. "No longer will they accept a product that is not flexible and compatible with other parts of their vast patient data management systems."

To accomplish these goals, the report indicates that PACS need to deliver a comprehensive suite of embedded clinical tools and be able to integrate seamlessly with EMRs and health information exchanges. Currently, PACS can link with some radiology information systems (RIS), which are databases of patient radiologic information. However, most EMRs are unable to integrate images, according to Kalorama. They do commonly have an image viewer, but it is patient specific and must pull images from separate PACS, and if the systems are not compatible, issues will arise.

Many smaller healthcare facilities still use film, since the high cost of implementing digital systems has impeded their adoption. Traditional film x-ray systems have a price tag of $20,000 to $80,000, while digital systems can cost from $180,000 to $500,000. Nevertheless, PACS are becoming an imperative, particularly in large high volume settings, according to the report.

Kalorama Information's new report, "US Market for PACS," covers the U.S. market for picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) and provides an overview of imaging systems, EMR and PACS technologies and products. The report describes the industry, its relationship to various healthcare channels, and the trends for the future. Market size and estimates through 2015 are provided, as well as company profiles. For more information, please visit:

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