Medical image sharing company LifeImage is coming off of a high-growth year. The company added several employees in executive roles, raised several million in venture funding and landed a National Institutes of Health contract. CEO Hamid Tabatabaie says 2010 was a year for early adopters, however, and looks forward to 2011 for greater expansion for his cloud-computing based product.
We spent 2010 coming to market, catching some early adopters, and ramping up our company’s resources to be able to support some of the early adopters. 2011 is our expansion year. The year that we’re adding a significant amount of resources both in terms of personnel and our infrastructure, and we expect our early adoption to show up in fast growth. We have a network in mind – being able to connect consumers and physicians to imaging data from across the country. 2011 is when the market will see both the adoption and the robustness of this whole network. So its a big year for us.
This is a growing and new market, but the market itself has a lot of very large players in it, whether it’s the GEs (NYSE:GE), Siemens (NYSE:SI), Philips Electronics NV (NYSE:PHG) of the world that are major players in imaging, or the Microsofts (NSDQ:MSFT) and Google (NSDQ:GOOG) that are coming after the healthcare information exchange market. I don’t know who will be a competitor per se, but I do think the market is not gonna stay dormant. The market is going to become very vibrant. It will be more about partnerships and alliances, and I think over time, whether its throughout 2011 or beyond, we will see regional players. People on the west coast who will do a better job connecting versus east coast and so forth.
MassDevice New Year’s Special P/review
- P/review: Introduction
- P/review: Paul LaViolette
- P/review: Stephen Ubl
- P/review: David Lucchino
- P/review: Euan Thomson
- P/review: Brian DeChristopher
- P/review: Christopher Delporte
- P/review: Don Hardison
- P/review: Brent Hudson
- P/review: Hamid Tatabaie
- P/review: Patrick Dentinger
- P/review: Nancy Briefs
- P/review: Brian Concannon
- P/review: Ryan Howard
- P/review: Ed Berger
- P/review: Top stories of 2010
There are three real reasons why storing and serving medical images require a high degree of specialization that electronic medical record companies can’t offer. Number one is that images are far larger files than the rest of the medical record. Your blood pressure, medication history and vital signs may be as big as a couple of megabytes worth of data. A single CT study can be over a gigabyte — a thousand times larger — and the ability move that data around is a particular expertise, not just on the technical side, but also on infrastructure side. If you are a medical record provider that has a cloud offering, you’re dealing with non-medical images with an infrastructure that does need to be anywhere near as robust, so your investment is very different. The second reason is that visualization of imaging data is an art. The ability to show images in the diagnostic quality is not something to be taken lightly. Your average non-imaging file can have 8 bits — 256 colors — your imaging data needs to have over 4,000 shades of gray. The ability to insert that is not simply adding another piece of data. It’s a completely different nature. Finally, the speed of access to imaging data is very important. Doctors are very busy and if they need to deal with download, upload and visualization that take minutes, the product is just not usable. So saving the data in one thing; being able to serve it appropriately is another thing. Very much like the rest of industries, the imaging tends to be clear niche and its best served by good niche players. Particularly those of us who are very third party friendly. We make our software such that it easily lives inside the third party component, so there is nothing to be threatened or inconvenienced by.