The TeraMedica Division of FUJIFILM Medical Systems: A new power in the VNA market

FUJIFILM Medical System U.S.A., Inc. offers a diverse portfolio of products ranging from digital X-ray and mammography to endoscopy and medical informatics. The company revolutionized the market with Synapse PACS, the first web-based image management solution to enable interpretation by radiologists anytime, anywhere. With the additions of RIS and 3D, Synapse continues to provide state-of-the-art radiology solutions to its customers.  Fujifilm’s recent acquisition of TeraMedica, Inc. is propelling the company to a key position in the vendor neutral archive market.

This content is sponsored by FUJIFILM Medical System U.S.A.

Pursuing the acquisition
Jim MorganThe adoption of EMRs in healthcare has been gaining steam for years. "Healthcare now has a central point for all clinical and textual information," says Jim Morgan, Vice President of Medical Informatics at FUJIFILM Medical Systems U.S.A., Inc. (Fujifilm). "Next, hospitals will want to centralize the imaging component."

Enter VNA technology.

Fujifilm initially explored the idea of developing its own VNA service line. "We wanted to control our own destiny and have ownership of the technology," says Mr. Morgan. The company's experience in the PACS market would serve as a strong foundation for the technology needed to expand into this new field.

Over time, Fujifilm realized the time and resources needed to carve out a place in an already competitive space would take years. Instead, Fujifilm began to search the marketplace for potential partners and found TeraMedica.

TeraMedica, based in Milwaukee, was founded in 2001. The medical informatics company developed the first version of a cross-departmental clinical image archive at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Since that time, the company has deployed its software at more than 600 locations spanning six continents. Fujifilm and TeraMedica found they had shared clients; a partnership was natural.

VNA market
Through combining resources, Fujifilm and TeraMedica are prepared to make headway in a growing market. The global market for VNA systems, valued at $165.3 million in 2013, is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15.2 percent to reach a value of $335.4 million by 2018, according to a Markets and Markets report. The need for VNA systems is driven by the need for centralized storage and government initiatives that favor the use of advanced imaging information systems, according to the report. Products that enable integration of VNAs with EHRs represent a burgeoning trend and growth opportunity in the market.

Combining resources
The companies worked closely together, and in December 2013, Fujifilm began the process of acquiring TeraMedica. In May 2015, the acquisition closed. Now, the companies are integrating and combining their resources in an effort to become a dominant market player. "The team was kept as a whole," says Mr. Morgan. "We didn't touch the development, marketing and support teams. They are 100 percent focused on their mission." Instead of radically changing TeraMedica's mission or operations, Fujifilm is focused on augmenting the company's resources. The TeraMedica Division of Fujifilm now has access to all Fujifilm's established global and U.S. presence can offer, including larger distribution and sales networks.  

Cultural fit is often a stumbling block in mergers, but leadership teams at Fujifilm and TeraMedica were prepared to meld two different teams. "We knew their leadership, and they knew us," says Mr. Morgan. "This made it a smooth transition." The time the two companies spent working together before entering the acquisition conversation paved the way for a seamless transaction.

What the TeraMedica Division of Fujifilm offers
The TeraMedica Division of Fujifilm offers Synapse VNA, a patient-centric application that captures, stores, manages and views DICOM and native non-DICOM images. The enterprise image content management solution is designed to be completely virtualized within existing server architecture. Synapse VNA offers multiple methods of EHR content capture, including an iPad image capture app.

How customers benefit
A VNA offers users centralized data management and eliminates the need for maintaining multiple, different systems and going through costly data migration projects. The data integration a VNA offers, embedded in an EMR, puts a patients' entire health history at physicians' fingertips. This centralized way of viewing data has the potential to improve patient care and outcomes.

Existing customers will feel small, if any, ripples of change due to the acquisition. "We don't want customers' interactions to change," says Mr. Morgan. "We want them to go to the same people they went to before. The only change they will see is more support going forward."

Looking forward
The TeraMedica Division of Fujifilm is just a few months old. The company's potential has only begun to unfold.

"All medium-sized to large hospitals will acquire VNA technology within the next three to five years," says Mr. Morgan. "We want to lead in that space." Fujifilm plans to continue growing its data analytics capabilities, as well as pushing its technology to achieve its goals of enhancing healthcare quality and efficiency.

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