The worldwide market for picture archiving and communications systems (PACS), which continue to grow in popularity, is expected to reach $5.4 billion by 2017, up from $2.8 billion in 2010, according to a new report from GlobalData.
A combination of government initiatives to adopt IT in healthcare and advancements in technology as a whole will be two of the major factors contributing to such growth, the report's authors said. Specifically, as hospitals look to save money with regard to storing images, PACS adoption will continue to thrive, they said.
"The world population is expected to exceed 9.1 billion by 2050, and the proportion of this population aged 65 years or older is forecast to more than double during this period [2010-2050]," an accompanying statement said. "Significant economic and legislative incentives have been approved by governments in North America, several countries in Europe, and in China and India, to promote the digitalization of healthcare workflow. These incentives have been instrumental in accelerating the adoption of PACS."
A study published last year by researchers at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston showed that use of PACS helped to reduce repetitive imaging tests on patients who transferred into the hospital.
The study involved nearly 1,500 patients who transferred to the hospital between February and August of 2009. Brigham & Women's imported CDs of radiology images for the patients from outside emergency departments into their PACS. Researchers found that PACS use reduced CT scans by 16 percent when compared to patients whose images were not successfully imported into the system.
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