Radiocontrast agents (also simply contrast agents or contrast materials) are compounds used to improve the visibility of internal bodily structures in an X-ray image.
Wikipedia, May 2007
If you’re wondering why a PACS guy is talking about contrast media, well I am an RT and Anthony Guerra at Healthcare Informatics recently brought my attention to an article about the sale of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s medical imaging unit to a private equity firm. This unit of BMS owns the short-lived patent on Cardiolite® a contrast agent for Cardiac SPECT studies.
This started me to thinking about the endless sales and mergers of medical imaging and imaging supply companies. I can name at least 10 sales or mergers of medical imaging companies in the last three years. This constant changing of the guards has a definite influence on the operations of radiology departments and imaging centers world wide.
These multi-million dollar sales and mergers may have positive financial outcomes for the companies involved but this has a negative impact on day to day operations for radiology departments and imaging centers. Radiology managers and imaging center directors have to deal with the steady changes in name brands and the services they provide. I guess we will have to wait and see how the sale of BMS’s medical imaging unit affects the quality and delivery of Cardiolite® and other contrast agents.
What do you think about the constant acquisitions and mergers of medical imaging companies? How is this affecting your daily operations?