Frost & Sullivan Research Service   Published: 12 Nov 2008
Strategic Outlook into Archive Requirements for Image Management in Medical Imaging
   Research Overview

This Frost & Sullivan research service titled Strategic Outlook into Archive Requirements for Image Management in Medical Imaging provides the total storage forecasts for all countries in Europe analysed in terms of the number of hospital beds in a country, the average size of an image diagnostic exam and the number of image diagnostic procedures conducted. Population growth, including the expansion of the aging population segment, is taken into consideration. In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following: medical image storage solutions markets in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, Scandinavia, Benelux and Italy.

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Market Overview

Digitised Medical Imaging Storage Space Grows Rapidly

Medical images are increasingly becoming digitised. However, the exponential growth of digitised medical images poses an immense challenge in terms of management, compression and retrieval. It is essential that image archive storage solution providers, picture archiving and communication system (PACS) vendors and image modality manufacturers become aware of the growing requirements of storage space. The total European storage requirement in 2007 was 106,044 terabytes.

"There is an increasing demand for digitising medical images as opposed to the traditional film-based images," notes the analyst of this research. "Unlike film-based images, digital images do not decay over time and can easily be stored for longer periods of time." Digitised images require less inventory space and the same image can be accessed by multiple physicians simultaneously. Moreover, the turn-around time from the initial meeting with the physician to availing complete diagnosis is reduced. As a result, patients can expect quicker appointments with physicians and they can have permanent access to the images from remote sites.

Collaborative Endeavours Critical to Maintain Growth Momentum

However, certain images are not DICOM compatible and require a service-oriented approach in order to be archived. This is primarily because evolving healthcare standards such as DICOM and HL7 are being updated at a much slower pace than image archiving and image modality technology. Other challenges include ensuring interoperability with hospital-based information systems. Another issue is that diagnostic procedures such as echo and angiogram generate a high resolution, large file-size images, and their long retrieval times pose a concern for hospitals.

"Some PACS vendors provide their own unique solution to archiving images that are not DICOM compatible, while others think it is wise to work around the evolving healthcare standards so that, in the future, systems interoperability is streamlined," remarks the analyst. "This trend of providing solutions to images that are not DICOM compatible will be prevalent over the next 5 to 7 years." The digitised medical imaging archives market requires complete cooperation among the following three major industry participants: PACS vendors, image modality manufacturers and storage solution providers. Some PACS vendors have indicated that it would be convenient for them if image modality manufacturers provided them with test data before an image modality is released into the market. By having the test data before hand, PACS vendors affirmed that they could easily establish connectivity (interoperability) of their module with the image modality. "Hospitals cannot afford to experience an image server downtime," concludes the analyst. "It is therefore essential that storage solution providers devise innovative technology that obviates the possibility of such server downtime."

Market Sectors

Expert Frost & Sullivan analysts thoroughly examine the following geographic areas in this research:

  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • Scandinavia
  • Benelux
  • Italy


The following technologies are covered in this research:

  • Image storage solutions
  • PACS
  • Various imaging modalities

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  Table Of Contents

1. Research Scope and Methodology

2. Glossary

3. Image Archive Overview

4. European Image Archive Outlook: Market Dynamics

5. Market Engineering Measurements

6. European Storage Forecasts

7. Storage Requirements by Geographical Region

8. Strategic Recommendations for the European Image Archive Requirements Market

9. Database of Key Industry Participants

10. Decision Support Database

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