Adriana Allocato
Adriana Allocato (Research Manager, Health Insights, IDC Europe)
Silvia Piai
Silvia Piai (Research Director, Health Insights)

Enterprise medical imaging (EMI) is not just a technology. It’s a set of strategies, initiatives, workflows and solutions implemented enterprisewide to consistently and optimally capture, index, manage, store, distribute, view, exchange, analyse and govern all medical imaging data and content across different settings. It’s there to eliminate traditional imaging silos by aligning imaging technology and infrastructure essentials with universal image availability (without silos).

According to an IDC Health Insights survey in February 2022, 38% of European healthcare providers will invest in a new EMI solution in the next two years and 57% will enhance their current solution. These solutions are likely to be:

  • Cloud based. To support enterprise imaging, healthcare systems are opting for secure, always-on cloud storage to improve the continuum of care and respond to patients’ needs:
    • Easier integration with large hospital electronic healthcare records (EHRs)
    • Faster access to images, reports, results and other vital patient information; a cloud-native image management system can be accessible via a web browser or zero footprint viewer, enabling a single source of patient information; clinicians can also follow patient progress regardless of their location
    • Disaster recovery, with cloud solutions automatically replicating data and enabling complete redundancy and access to information 24 x 7
    • High level of security with data encrypted end-to-end to address patient privacy concerns and limit access to personally identifiable information
  • Supported by intelligent automation technologies. Leaders in the EMI space are focusing on scaling and deepening the use of advanced analytics and AI to support new diagnostic imaging techniques, workflow orchestration, pathway management, rule-based automation of repetitive tasks, reporting, etc., to cater to the specific needs of different clinical use cases, driving evidence-based and precision medicine.
  • Paired with fully managed services. Vendors that provide strategic advice, implementation and support services, tailored to customers and to their business and clinical strategic objectives, are more successful and have better customer retention and customer share. EMI platforms provide a unified environment for data and diagnostic capabilities, but to effectively deploy it, healthcare organisations need to partner with vendors that understand how their medical imaging capabilities are maturing within the organisation’s broader digital strategy. Healthcare providers are also looking for vendors to provide predictive support services to ensure business continuity and dynamically optimise systems.

What’s Driving the EMI Market?

Simply put, it’s the need to navigate away from siloed care and move towards a more integrated care delivery model. In the past few years, healthcare organisations have increasingly relied on their ability to gather, store and analyse massive amounts of data to provide better quality care and operational efficiency. The pandemic has increased the need for imaging and, more importantly, shown that managing complex on-premises infrastructures drastically reduces the agility of already strained IT departments.

As value-based care becomes the norm, healthcare providers are focusing on a data integration strategy to take full advantage of their data. However, this happens only when data, including images, follows the patient throughout the care journey and is easily consumed at the point of care. As healthcare imaging data continues to expand, organisations need technologies that connect data silos and support the entire enterprise.

The Way Forward

To maximise the value of their investments in enterprise imaging, healthcare providers should:

  • Develop an imaging strategy that fits with a “care anywhere” model to ensure the continuum of care to patients
  • Involve healthcare professionals early on and continue to keep them engaged in the implementation and governance of the platform
  • Select an imaging IT vendor that works as a partner to align its value proposition to customers’ goals, as well as constraints, with products and services that offer value for money

To learn more about the EMI market in Europe, please read IDC MarketScape: European Enterprise Medical Imaging 2022 Vendor Assessment or contact Adriana Allocato and Silvia Piai at IDC Health Insights.

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