Cacophony used to reign in the PACS industry until not too long ago, when the voices of a number of solid contenders in the PACS arena mixed with those of innumerable new market entrants. PACS opportunities were multiplying, and it seemed like there was a free track available for anyone wanting to get some airtime - about a new RIS/PACS, Web-based PACS, 3-D PACS, hosted PACS - you name it. In this growing market, the lower end of which was fragmenting, it seemed every vendor was able to get a place on-stage and capture their piece of the pie.
At the 2011 RSNA Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting in Chicago, the PACS industry seemed to have quit the era of out-of-tune marketing communications cold turkey.The collective marketing message perhaps lacked the energy of years past, but the different voices were certainly more in harmony around PACS 2.0. Dominated by a more consolidated group of top-tier vendors, the PACS industry's soundtrack was structured mainly along three tracks: enterprise, mobility and the cloud/image exchange.
Meaningful Use (MU) would only come infourth, as it was more for the vendors with an integrated RIS/PACS offering targeted at the ambulatory segments of the market.
Two of the top three largest PACS vendors for example, GE and Philips, were both vocal about enterprise PACS and mobility, even though their respective approaches were completely opposite to one another.
With regard to its enterprise strategy, GE can now pride itself in having "had a vendor neural archive (VNA) all along," according to a representative from the company. Although like other PACS vendors, the company tries to avoid the terminology of "VNA", GE is currently more active in selling its PACS-neutral archive within and outside the Centricity customer base. Philips on the other hand is launching the IntelliSpaceclinical informatics portfolio - which includes the next-generation of iSite PACS, however the company is concurrently tightening the knot with middleware vendor Acuo Technologies in order to cater to customers looking for a third party VNA.