Management shakeup at Amicas

Dalai was the first that I saw to point out that Amicas (AMCS) is waving goodbye to Peter McClennen, its President and COO. I am actually not shocked about this. Amicas is a second tier PACS company that has struggled to find its way. The company is thought of as a growth company but it seems that a lot of time has been spent just to maintain its position in the market. The stock as also lagged since it dropped from $5 to trade now at around $3. Now this is not Vonage territory but something over there is not working.

I am not about to knock Peter. I have known him since I was 16 and he was working at Fuji. I knew him when he worked at GE. I talked to him a couple of times a year at Amicas. He is a stand up individual that has a lot to bring to the table for any company. He is also one of the most enthusiastic people I have ever met.

I think that Amicas is the first company (maybe not) that is showing signs of problems. There are a great many second tier PACS vendors that have struggled to differentiate themselves from the major players, GE, AGFA, Fuji, Philips, and McKesson. Those companies have a very significant market share leaving Amicas, Dynamic Imagaing, Emageon, and a plethora of other companies to pickup the rest.

Over the next few years numerous small PACS companies are going to die. There is simply not enough market share to go around. Those players that are able to differentiate themselves and find niche markets to serve will survive although probably not forever.

A major force in the industry will be the introduction of the native 3D PACS from TeraRecon. The deep integration of 3D is something that will significantly raise the technological bar for all PACS companies. once that happens the first real game changer that causes the core PACS technology to change in a long time, maybe since DICOM, will occur.

The other problem for smaller companies is the exit strategy. There are not a lot of companies in radiology that need a PACS as part of their offerings. So there are not a lot of potential acquirers left. Probably a couple of up and coming EMRs will want one but who can say. I think that for small PACS companies the future looks bleak.

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