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Cable Companies and PACS Vendors

Posted on 12/28/15

As reported by the Pew Research Center, one in five adults between 18 and 29 have severed the ties they once had with cable or satellite.

This, by itself, is not shocking.  We all know young people are more likely to stream content, but the rest of the story should be of major concern to cable TV execs.  As reported by Bob Sullivan at Geekwire, “Consumers aren’t just leaving pay TV. They are thrilled to leave pay TV. Watch consumers’ Facebook updates. Cutting the cord is practically the new mortgage burning ceremony.  People loved Netflix mainly because they hated Blockbuster so much. People like Uber because they hate yellow cabs. What executives of incumbent firms miss often is how happy consumers are to “fire” the incumbent. Right now, cutting the cord isn’t just sensible because it’s cheaper. It’s an act of rebellion. It’s hip. It’s smart. But most of all, it feels good. It’s something you brag about at holiday parties.”

Okay, now replace “pay TV” with “PACS”.  I would say the vast majority of the customers we speak with do not like their PACs provider at all.  There are exceptions, but most say PACS is way too expensive and way too “closed”.  Radiologists frequently tell us that big PACS vendors just don’t listen or just don’t “get it”.

The signs that this market is ready for disruption are everywhere.  PACS has unhappy customers, expensive and proprietary products, and systems based on old technology.  For more evidence that the change is coming, look at the rapid growth of the VNA market.  When a health system purchases a VNA, they are taking the first step toward replacing their PACS.

So why are the executives at big PACS vendors blind to this, and not taking steps to correct it?  It would be unusual if they did.  Old, entrenched companies almost always behave this way.  This phenomena is well documented in the book “The Plateau Effect”.   According to the authors, “Old companies go blind”.

If you have taken the first step, and installed a VNA, Clario can help you take the next step and fix your workflow.  If you are a private practice and do not need to archive the exams, our unified worklist will improve the workflow your business relies on.

Deconstructed PACS is more than a new architecture.  It will be as disruptive to Radiology as the transition to film.  We will end up in a better place.  We will have scalable, open, best-of-breed systems supplied by vendors who have built their components using modern technology that is appropriate for the specific role they are fulfilling.   Plus, as an added bonus, you get to break up with your PACS vendor.  For a lot of Radiologists I know, that will feel really good.