These days it seems that every PACS vendor has to have a CVIS. Not to be out done, FUJIFILM has acquired Problem Solving Concepts for an undisclosed sum (press release). Commonly called ProSolv, the company was founded by a very smart young man, Tom Feigenbaum, back in the early 1990s. As is evident in the company name, Tom's interests have always focused on problem solving - especially complex problems involving physics and math. His father and well known radiologist Harvey Feigenbaum tempted Tom with the challenges of analyzing diagnostic data from medical studies. Tom was bitten by the health care bug, and has since built up a suite of applications for cardiology.

Word has it that ProSolv CardioVascular is very strong on the software client/application side, but weaker on the infrastructure/software architecture side. This contrasts with a vendor like Agfa (Heartlab) who hangs their hat on a system architecture that supports multiple high volume sites with one system. Since most of the image management vendors are moving to one integrated system for both radiology PACS and CVIS, a weakness in architecture may in fact be a plus for FUJI.

For buyers, this trend to add CVIS and develop an integrated system for both radiology and cardiology means that the system they buy today is likely to be drastically (or completely) different from the integrated PACS/CVIS solution they will have to upgrade to in a few years. This obviously complicates vendor selection - how do you know the weaknesses that exist today will be addressed in the new product, or whether your favorite features in today's product will make the cut to be included in the new version? The downside for hospitals is that the pool of CVIS vendors who are not facing a major rewrite is shrinking. The good news is that the remaining vendors (Lumedx, ScImage) are likely to remain independent - unless their principals get an offer they can't resist.

[Hat tip: AdvaMed SmartBrief]