PACS Systems

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NextGen Office

NextGen® Office is an award-winning, cloud-based, clinical and billing solution designed for smaller, independent practices (≤ 10 providers). This all-in-one, turnkey solution includes specialty-specific EHR content, an easy-to-us...Read more about NextGen Office

4.01 (1218 reviews)

76 recommendations

Compulink Healthcare Solutions

Compulink’s Advantage SMART Practice® is an all-in-one database EHR solution for specialty practices such as optometry, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, ENT, mental health, podiatry, and more. Available cloud-based or server, Advantag...Read more about Compulink Healthcare Solutions

4.03 (273 reviews)

66 recommendations

PatientNow

PatientNow provides the most comprehensive EMR, practice management, and patient engagement software solution in the elective medical industry. Streamline practice operations, improve efficiency, and drive revenue with one softwar...Read more about PatientNow

3.86 (133 reviews)

43 recommendations

AestheticsPro

AestheticsPro is a cloud-based, HIPAA compliant medical spa management software solution that offers staff and calendar management along with client management, a point-of-sale and marketing tools within a suite. The staff manage...Read more about AestheticsPro

4.34 (334 reviews)

36 recommendations

WebPT

WebPT is a cloud-based, multi-product platform for outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy clinics. At its core, WebPT is an electronic medical records (EMR) system that enables therapists to produce and store patien...Read more about WebPT

4.37 (425 reviews)

23 recommendations

RevolutionEHR

RevolutionEHR is a cloud-based electronic health record (EHR) solution built specifically for optometry practices. RevolutionEHR includes a complete EHR, medical billing, patient scheduling, medical accounting and a picture archiv...Read more about RevolutionEHR

4.57 (160 reviews)

21 recommendations

Office Practicum

Office Practicum by Connexin Software was built by physicians to provide an integrated electronic health record (EHR) and practice management solution. The system offers appointment scheduling, clinical documentation management, c...Read more about Office Practicum

4.17 (274 reviews)

8 recommendations

Medicasoft

Based in Ontario, Canada, Medicasoft is a SaaS development company that provides clinic management solutions for privately owned clinics and health providers. Designed to cover clinical operational needs, Medicasoft's PACS, LIMS, ...Read more about Medicasoft

5.00 (2 reviews)

4 recommendations

UltraLinq

UltraLinq is a cloud-based PACS, offering a comprehensive platform for medical imaging. With all its functionality online, you can upload, view, and interpret patient imaging any time, from any location—and store it for as long as...Read more about UltraLinq

4.58 (12 reviews)

3 recommendations

Ambra Health

Ambra Health is a cloud-based medical imaging platform for medical practices of all sizes including hospitals, medical groups, radiology practices and contract research organizations. It offers a cloud-based PACS and VNA enabling ...Read more about Ambra Health

CrelioHealth For Diagnostics

CrelioHealth is a cloud-based HIPAA & ISO compliant LIMS software designed for single or multi-center pathology labs & diagnostic centers. It is loaded with features to significantly improve patient experience, sample handling, te...Read more about CrelioHealth For Diagnostics

4.52 (50 reviews)

NovaPACS

NovaPACS is a cloud-based PACS solution, which helps radiologists visualize, evaluate and compare images through hanging protocols, built-in mammography, 3D, 4D, and several other capabilities. The workstation offers a centraliz...Read more about NovaPACS

4.15 (34 reviews)

Dicom Systems Unifier Platform

Dicom Systems Unifier Platform is a radiology software designed to help businesses in the healthcare sector send, receive and modify patient-related data such as medical images and diagnostic reports. The platform enables managers...Read more about Dicom Systems Unifier Platform

5.00 (20 reviews)

ProtonPACS

ProtonPACS is a picture archiving and communication solution that helps medical facilities manage image access, storage and distribution, optimizing workflow across the organization. It includes front and back end patient manageme...Read more about ProtonPACS

4.89 (18 reviews)

Nova RIS

Nova RIS is a windows-based radiology information system (RIS) that assists businesses with patient scheduling, 3D image manipulation, forms management, mobile diagnostic viewing and report sharing. It includes a web image viewer,...Read more about Nova RIS

4.25 (12 reviews)

VEPRO PACS EMR

VEPRO PACS (picture, archiving and communication system) is a cloud-based, HL7 compliant electronic medical recording (EMR) and report image sharing solution. It is suitable for healthcare businesses of all sizes. VEPRO PACS ...Read more about VEPRO PACS EMR

4.50 (5 reviews)

AccessPoint

AccessPoint Connected Care Solutions from Freeland Systems is a portfolio of professional applications used to review, analyze, document and archive diagnostic imaging exams. AccessPoint solutions are installed in more than 1,800 ...Read more about AccessPoint

4.25 (4 reviews)

Studycast

Studycast is a picture archiving and communication system (PACS), which enables hospitals, research organizations and clinical specialists to streamline medical imaging workflows. Referring physicians can view reports and send the...Read more about Studycast

5.00 (3 reviews)

Cardiology-Cloud

Cardiology-Cloud, powered by WRS Health, is a cloud-based electronic health records (EHR) solution that offers integrated practice management, revenue cycle management, and marketing services for Cardiologists. The system offers ...Read more about Cardiology-Cloud

4.00 (2 reviews)

RADIOLens

RADIOlens is a PACS radiology solution that enables clinical collaboration, provides workflow efficiency, and enables well-informed decision-making. Higher Efficiency • Instant streaming of DICOM images • Fastest image uploads ...Read more about RADIOLens

5.00 (2 reviews)

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: December 05, 2022

A Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) is used in digital radiography to manage the storage, retrieval, distribution and presentation of DICOM images (i.e., X-rays, MRIs, CAT scans). A picture archiving and communication system is often used in conjunction with a Radiology Information System (RIS) to efficiently execute the radiology workflow.

The picture archiving and communications systems market is fairly large and complex. There are a number of software companies and medical device manufacturing companies developing PACS for all sizes of medical organizations and all types of specialists. The result is a market that is fragmented and potentially confusing to buyers. We’ve assembled this guide of the PACS market to help buyers know where to begin their initial research and comparison. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Picture Archiving and Communications Systems Software?
Deployment Strategies
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
Market Trends to Understand
The Vendor Landscape

What Is Picture Archiving and Communications Systems Software?

If “a picture is worth a thousand words,” then picture archiving and communications systems may give the Library of Congress a run for their money. PACS programs are used in digital radiography to store, manipulate and distribute images. The universal standard format for these images is DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine), and they may include X-Rays, MRIs, CAT scans or ultrasounds.  

A PACS consists of four major components: the image modality such as MRI or CT, the network by which images and patient information are securely transmitted, the individual client workstations for viewing images and a database for storing image data. Web-based or Web-enabled systems will allow for the distribution of image data across a distributed network of provider organizations. 

 

Deployment Strategies

Picture archiving and communications systems are often implemented as standalone systems. They may be sold along with an imaging device by vendors such as GE or Philips, or may be sold separately by software vendors. PACS will often need to be integrated with electronic medical records (EMR) systems, but these are rarely sold together since buyer needs vary so much and the timeframes for purchasing can be very different. Finally, radiology centers often purchase PACS integrated with radiology information systems (RIS) to have one integrated package to manage images and corresponding clinical patient data. 

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Before you can evaluate picture archiving and communications systems, you’ll need to know what type of buyer you are. We have found that almost all buyers fall into one of the following three categories:

Hospitals. These buyers typically have very robust needs for the storage and efficient retrieval of lots of images. Due to the varying nature of care provided, they need a flexible system that can be accessible from multiple departments or locations. 

Midsized and large outpatient practices. These buyers work for private practices with robust enough imaging needs to warrant a formal PACS. These practices typically have multiple physicians on staff specializing in orthopedics, cardiology, neurology, ophthalmology and other image-intensive specialties. 

Radiology centers. These buyers typically process a high volume of images and require a robust system. They will often purchase a RIS and PACS as an integrated suite, although they may buy either system on a standalone basis. 

Benefits and Potential Issues

PACS are designed to benefit both clinical and administrative staff by storing and manipulating images and making them easily accessible to appropriate staff members. Because of this, users should expect the following benefits when adopting a formal PACS:

  • Efficiency. Organizations should be able to eliminate most or all of the hassle associated with printing images, storing them in folders, transporting them and retrieving them. PACS enables all of these process to be accomplished much more quickly and efficiently, reducing a lot of bottlenecks experienced at hospitals and other busy imaging centers. 
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  • Security. Data encryption techniques can ensure data security and patient privacy much better than physical images and paper charts. Buyers should expect HIPAA-compliant systems and user-level password protection. 
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  • ROI. As with all technology, buyers should be aware of the potential issues, costs and return on investment as well. Buyers will want to make sure that their selected PACS vendor offers necessary data backup and encryption technologies. The critical metric for any PACS system is that the costs to store, review and retrieve images go down. The costs associated with these tasks can be far-reaching, ranging from the staff required for repetitive tasks of putting away and pulling images, the time spent manually reviewing series of images and the direct costs of paper, shelving and other materials required to store physical images. Buyers should also expect to improve their ability to properly assess images and draw conclusions due to image viewing and annotation tools built into most PACS. 

Market Trends to Understand

Software as a Service (SaaS). SaaS applications have become very popular in enterprise computing and the healthcare market. Due to the distributed nature of many PACS users, SaaS can be a suitable option to many organizations. They can make it much easier to share images without complex network infrastructure. 

Mobile applications. As physicians and other healthcare providers accomplish more on the go, the use of mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads has grown quickly. Many vendors are reacting to this trend and making systems accessible from handheld devices. 

EMR adoption. Although not a substitute for PACS, government legislation requiring eligible providers to implement EMRs could potentially impact PACS purchases. Most organizations will need a picture archiving communications system with an HL7 interface to enable integration, or may even try to use a robust EMR to meet their image storage needs if they are not very complex.

The Vendor Landscape

While the picture archiving and communications systems landscape is highly fragmented and may at first appear confusing, the available solutions are differentiated by their appeal to the different buyer types.

This type of buyer... Should evaluate these systems
Hospitals GE, McKesson, Philips
Mid-sized and large outpatient practices Sage Intergy, GE, Medics PACS
Radiology centers Ingenix, Sage Intergy, Medics PACS

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