The market for picture archiving and communication system (PACS), although mature in some parts of the region such as northern Europe, offers promising opportunities. Sizeable capital investment is being ploughed in and the advantages of having a good data management system are being recognised by healthcare authorities. This will propel the change from purchasing mini PACS to enterprise-wide deployments.
A analysis from Frost & Sullivan, European Markets for Picture Archiving and Communication
Systems, estimates that the market was worth $590.3 million in 2007 and is set to reach $1,035.3 million in 2014. "Robust PACS will drive the market by offering integration with electronic patient records (EPRs) and electronic medical records (EMRs)," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Ranjit Ravindranathan. "Europe is a growing market, especially because of the ongoing efforts to digitalise the European healthcare system."
Customising PACS projects, though lucrative, are stretching vendors' capabilities. The provision of open architecture due to the growing sophistication and the increasing complexity of solutions also presents a challenge to market participants.
"Enterprise-wide deployments are creating technical issues and political challenges within departments," adds Ravindranathan. "Decision making and project sign off time are, moreover, intensifying the pressure on vendors even as cost-effective, value-added features offered by smaller vendors pose a challenge to tier-one participants."
Customising PACS modules and providing a smooth integrated workflow environment are keys to the success of vendors. PACS providers capable of delivering solutions that offer these attributes will be able to leverage their expertise and win prized contracts. Consequently, remaining focused on product development is vital to secure the competitive edge.
"Specialist participants already possess the required expertise to carve niches for themselves," concludes Ravindranathan. "However, these firms will have to concentrate on building strategic alliances to boost their visibility in the industry and gain better access to decision makers."
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