In November 2005, Emageon Inc. acquired Camtronics Medical System, a cardiology imaging company 15 years its senior. What the fourth-quarter buy meant for Emageon, according to Chuck Jett, chairman of the board, president and CEO, was that the company spent the majority of 2006 integrating products and cultures to add diagnostic cardiology imaging to its radiology product. And apparently the integration challenges paid off, as 2006 revenues came in at a record $123.5 million, a nearly 65 percent increase over 2005's $75 million.
As head of Emageon, which spun off from a University of Alabama in Birmingham Medical School creation, Jett has had his eye on imaging for quite some time. As with other technologies, Jett says imaging is getting cheaper, easier and better.
"The lines are blurring in terms of who is diagnostic and who is treating, between radiology and cardiology, and soon, between oncology, radiology and cardiology," he says. Not only are the tool sets better and easier to understand, but sliced images are being replaced by 3-D views. "As a physician, you want to see it," Jett says. "And you want your doc to see it.
One year after the Camtronics deal, Emageon has inked another with Chicago's Allscripts TouchWorks solutions.
"More and more, referring physicians want to have imaging tool sets, so it made sense for us to image enable one of the leading ambulatory EMR products, and then offer ambulatory EMR out to our customers," Jett says. "We believe that more hospitals will be acquiring ambulatory EMR technology for their physicians. We wanted to be in a position to help our customers use the infrastructure they already have."
The publically traded Nasdaq company spends greater than 20 percent a year on RandD. As to the future, Jett says the company will continue to expand its back-end content management solution for image data, which will be key as baby boomers age.
"Healthcare is a huge percentage of GDP in this country and it is growing rapidly," Jett says. "I think our most prolific product that we are producing in this country is 50-year-olds. If you look at the number we are producing, and follow with the fact that three-out-of-four imaging procedures are done on people over the age of 50. "It's clear that the need to manage medical imaging data is a big deal today, and is going to become an increasingly big deal as we go forward. We think we are very uniquely qualified to help."
Emageon's products include:
cardiovascular information system
multi-modality advanced visualization
hemodynamic monitoring system
3D CT/MR visualization
consolidation of clinical applications on a single workstation within the hospital or practice
consolidated storage management