Merry X-Ray Acquires | Philips and Shimadzu Launch | FDA Goes Public

Merry X-Ray Continues M&A Run
Merry X-Ray continued its acquisition run, buying Texas-based reconditioned imaging sales and service company, Premier Imaging. The acquisition is Merry X-Ray’s third since October 2017, when it acquired Consensys Imaging Service of Illinois (MRI, CT, Mammography, and Ultrasound) and Universal Medical Systems of Ohio (CT and MRI), as the company works toward its goal of becoming the largest independent medical imaging sales and service network in the US.


JAMA Surprises Few, Reporting Imaging Helped Drive the US’s High Health Costs
Research from JAMA reveals that the US spends 2x more on healthcare than other wealthy countries, equaling 17.8% of our GDP (vs. 9.6% -12.4%). The study cited high use of medical imaging as a contributor, as the US had higher imaging usage and costs than most other countries. The facts that the US spends the most on healthcare and has disproportionately high imaging costs are well known, and many folks reading this have financially benefited because of it. However, imbalances like this risk more severe industry corrections long-term and the imaging industry would be wise to manage and even minimize this trend going forward.


FDA Goes Public with Philips Ohio Facility Report
The FDA released a report citing Philips’ soon-to-be-closed CT and molecular imaging manufacturing facility in Highland Heights, Ohio for inadequate investigations of complaints. During a mid-2017 inspection, the FDA found that Philips mishandled 3,623 complaints, incorrectly classifying them as “low risk,” and insufficiently investigating or acting upon them. The Highland Heights facility has a history of quality control problems, prompting some industry watchers to suggest these issues are systemic, and supporting arguments that these factors contributed to Philips’ decision to shut down all manufacturing in Highland Heights by late 2018, moving operations to plants in Israel and China.


Philips Launches HealthSuite Insights AI Platform
Philips launched its HealthSuite Insights AI platform, allowing healthcare professionals (data scientists, software developers, providers) to curate and analyze healthcare data and leverage tools to build and operate AI-based solutions. The platform licenses AI assets from Philips and others, reportedly limiting time and investment requirements compared to deploying other healthcare AI solutions. The included Insights Marketplace will initially offer assets supplied by Philips, expanding in late 2018 to third party assets.


Shimadzu Enters Medical Near-Infrared Camera Market
Shimadzu entered the medical near-infrared camera market with the Japan launch of its new Lightvision Near-Infrared Fluorescence Imaging System. The new system is intended for visualizing lymph and blood vessels to support breast cancer treatment, based on the detection of near-infrared fluorescent light emitted from indocyanine green (ICG). Shimadzu has been promoting its Lightvision system as a strategic future product for over two years, making this launch notable, and suggesting that the company will look to expand its presence in this space now that the system is available.

The Wire

  • Siemens Healthineers completed its long-awaited IPO raised $5.2 billion (€4.2B) for 15% of the company, which will be used to fund future acquisitions and investments.
  • Philips expanded its Illumeo imaging and informatics technology to Australia and New Zealand, marking the Illumeo line’s first presence outside of the US.
  • Chinese medical imaging AI firm and GE collaborator, Infervision, raised another $47 million through a series B+ investment round from new and existing investors, funding the development of its deep learning technology for medical image diagnosis.
  • NucleusHealth announced the commercial licensing of its Platform-as-a-Service (Nucleus PaaS), allowing third parties to deliver medical images through their own tools and specialty workflows.
  • Ohio-based medical equipment disposition company, reLink Medical, acquired O’Brien Wholesale, expanding the company’s capabilities in medical equipment liquidation and web sales.
  • A Yale study suggests that the cost of follow-up MRIs after performing CT scans on unconscious patients with neck injuries ($14,185) may not be justified when comparing the “quality of life” years experienced by patients who did and did not receive the MRI.
  • Konica Minolta touted a 400% productivity increase within 9 months of installing Exa PACS at client, Radiology Imaging Solutions (also a Exa reseller), allowing the company to double the number of imaging sites that its teleradiology services support.
  • Konica Minolta continued to lean-in on promoting its Exa PACS platform, announcing Exa installations at several facilities operated by Green Bay Radiology, including at the company’s partner sites.
  • Cook Medical’s Cellvizio Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy System Confocal Miniprobes received additional 510k clearance from the FDA, stating that it can be used for in vivo imaging of the internal microstructure of tissues.
  • Ikonopedia installed its breast reporting and MQSA management system at Alinea Medical Imaging’s LA area imaging centers and mobile mammography systems, marking the company’s first ever mobile installation.
  • Probo Medical and MedCorp announced a merger, making the joined company the industry’s largest ultrasound equipment reseller – largely focused on refurbishing and reselling ultrasound systems and probes.

The Resource Wire

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