In a sign of ongoing consolidation in the imaging informatics market, Fujifilm Medical Systems USA announced on May 13 that it was acquiring vendor-neutral archive (VNA) software firm TeraMedica. The Stamford, Ct.-based Fuji Medical Systems USA announced that it had comleted the acquisition, with TeraMedica, based in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa, now operating as Fujifilm TeraMedica. The acquisition is the culmination of a partnership that began in 2013, when the two firms signed a deal in which TeraMedica had agreed to provide its VNA technology to Fuji. The deal emerges as the altest in a long series of consolidating acquisitions, in the context of a PACS (picture archiving and communications systems) HIT market that has become mature and whose opportunities to engage new hospital and medical group customers has waned in the past few years.
As a press release from the acquiring company noted, “As a leader in clinical archiving, TeraMedica is at the forefront of the Vendor Neutral Archive market. It is a company with talented people and unique technology that will strengthen our position in healthcare informatics,” said Jim Morgan, Vice President of Medical Informatics, FUJIFILM Medical Systems U.S.A., Inc. “Together, we will be able to deliver medical informatics solutions that acquire, analyze, interpret and present patient data in ways that are meaningful for providers in the most challenging environments.”
As a report in the online publication AuntMinnie.com put it, “The deal represents a validation of TeraMedica’s business model, which seemed like a radical idea when the firm was launched in 2001. At the time, PACS vendors had a hammerlock on medical imaging data, and the idea of an imaging facility moving its archive to third party was rarely considered. Since then,” said the report, by AuntMinnie’s Brian Casey, said, “the PACS-central model of data management is increasingly being viewed as a legacy architecture, and more PACS vendors are trying to position themselves as VNA providers—with varying levels of success. For its part, TeraMedica evolve dinto the last remaining large, independent player offering VNA services, with an installed base of 300 customers around the world, according to Greg Strowig, chief operating officer of Fujifilm TeraMedica.”
As a report in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel noted, “The company, which now will be known as Fujifilm TeraMedica Inc., employs about 40 people and projects sales of $15 million to $20 million this year. Fujifilm Holdings sells systems for storing diagnostic images as well as digital X-ray machines, endoscopes and other products. The company, based in Tokyo, reported revenue of $22.7 billion, at an exchange rate of 110 yen to the dollar, for its fiscal year ended March 31. The company will be able to distribute and market TeraMedica's software throughout the world, said Hiroaki Shimosaka, the new chairman of Fujifilm TeraMedica,” the Journal-Sentinel article noted. That publication also noted that “The acquisition is Fujifilm's second in Wisconsin this year.The company bought Cellular Dynamics International Inc. in Madison for $307 million this month. Cellular Dynamics International, known as CDI, employs about 150 people and was co-founded in 2004 by James Thomson, a scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and one of the most influential scientists in stem cell research.”