KLAS delves into imaging markets

November 27, 2012 in Medical Technology

With reports on MRI, PACS and CT released this week at the Radiological Society of North America’s annual meeting, research firm KLAS provides insight into three imaging markets.


The introduction of new technology into the MRI landscape has changed the face of the market segment over the last year, KLAS analysts say. Although MRI satisfaction scores tend to cluster together, the differences are in the details.

[See also: Radiologists put MU on back burner.]

Philips, which was in last place in the 2011 KLAS MRI report with its Achieva 1.5T MR, takes first place this year with its newly ranked Ingenia 1.5T MR scanner, receiving an overall score of 92.2 (out of 100). Siemens’ MAGNETOM Aera 1.5T also appears in the KLAS report for the first time and is ranked fourth out of the five vendors, earning an overall KLAS performance score of 87.

“Philips was able to leapfrog other vendors in the study with the Ingenia in part due to their new coils system,” said Kirk Ising, author of the report and strategic operations director at KLAS. “Providers in this study identified coils as an area where they would like to see more development. Some vendors are further along than others. The Ingenia coils that are not channel specific allow providers to upgrade their coils more easily.”

Patient comfort was also top-of-mind for providers that participated in this study. Providers said that faster scan speeds (31 percent) were the number-one feature that improved patient satisfaction, followed by quieter scanners (22 percent), better lighting (19 percent), airflow improvements (16 percent), and shorter bore length (16 percent).

Low-dose imaging

Providers name Siemens as their top choice for low-dose imaging in the KLAS report CT 2012: Reconstructing the Market.

Siemens’ development of their iterative reconstruction systems IRIS, second-generation SAFIRE, and other dose-optimization technologies, like CARE Dose4D, position them out in front of other vendors’ low-dose efforts.

“Dose takes center stage in this study because protecting patients from dose exposure is at the top of providers’ minds,” said Ben Brown, author of the report and medical imaging research director. “They want to know which vendors are dedicated to developing the best iterative reconstruction tools and other dose-saving solutions-as well as which vendors will help educate and train their physicians and techs so they can make the most of those tools. While the gap has narrowed among vendors, many providers still feel that Siemens is the low-dose industry leader again this year.”

[See also: Radiologists put MU on back burner.]


Demand for PACS solutions has grown in recent years, as has the need to identify and differentiate PACS vendors. The Radiology PACS Technology: The World Looks Under the Covers study shares customer PACS feedback that focuses primarily on the technology and functionality of the most recent software versions.

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