PACS market primed for double-digit growth

The global PACS market generated $2.8 billion U.S. (2.1 billions euros) in revenues in 2010, and it is expected to grow at a 10% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach approximately $5.4 billion U.S. (4.2 billion euros) by 2017, according to a new report from market research firm GlobalData.

The growth will be driven by significant government initiatives to encourage the digitization of healthcare systems, as well as substantial technological advancements in imaging information technology, GlobalData said.

In addition, the expansion of the PACS market to other specialties such as oncology and endoscopy will result in further applications for PACS and higher demand among providers, according to the company. This dynamic will also be complemented by an improved focus on PACS by vendors, health systems, and regulatory agencies, GlobalData said.

Faced with rising healthcare costs and rapid demographic changes, governments are expanding their efforts to push the adoption of PACS to increase hospital productivity and clinical outcomes. Governments in North America, several European countries, China, and India have approved significant economic and legislative incentives to promote the digitization of healthcare workflow. GlobalData credits these incentives as instrumental in accelerating PACS adoption.

The firm also pointed to government funding and the growing demand for increased productivity and fewer errors for spurring healthcare IT advances. In particular, Web- and cloud-based PACS have contributed to positive adoption trends, GlobalData said. By eliminating the large upfront costs associated with the uptake of IT infrastructure, these software-as-a-service models have allowed for expanded penetration of PACS into small and medium-sized practices and independent physician offices, the company said.

Integrated speech recognition capabilities and advanced clinical decision-support systems also will contribute significantly to expanding the PACS customer pool, according to the company.

In other notable trends, enhancements in clinical applications and workflow management tools are transforming the functionality of PACS from a viewing and storage system to a decision-support system, GlobalData said. The need for integrated advanced diagnostic and visualization tools for nonradiology departments also will contribute to the market potential of PACS, according to the firm.

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