This growth will come largely due to government investment in PACS technology, spurred by the push to digitize health records and the introduction to the PACS market of the software as a service model, which significantly reduces the up-front cost of implementing PACS.
Demographic trends are also motivating health care providers to invest, CMIO notes in its analysis of the report. With the world population both growing — to more than 9 billion by 2050 — and aging — with the population over 65 years old expected to double by then — providers increasingly see the investment as a way to improve productivity and clinical outcomes.
PACS technology has long been a mainstay of radiology departments, and PACS integration is increasingly allowing hospitals to bring images from multiple systems into a hub. But growth projections for the PACS market aren’t limited to radiology — according to the report, oncology, endoscopy and other specialties are also adopting the systems.
As PACS use expands, organizations will have to compensate with additional IT investments, from larger (perhaps cloud-based) image archives to better bandwidth to accommodate PACS. Without these investments, growth in the PACS market unfortunately may not be money well spent.