Nearly a decade ago, Royal Philips Electronics fathered Philips Healthcare Services and appears determined that their subsidiary will soon become King of the medical imagingequipment industry. Apparently, this move was in response to GE Medical Systems' announcement that it planned on becoming king itself of the ultrasound industry before the year 2000. Not to be outdone, Philips from the first year began an acquisition frenzy in order to expand its subsidiary's product portfolio well beyond its initial product line, which started in 1918 with medical x-ray tubes.
Concluding Philips Healthcare Services first year, Philips Electronics added digital ultrasound systems to PHS's portfolio by getting ATL Ultrasound of Washington. Only two years after, in late 2000, Philips expanded into nuclear medicine by absorbing ADAC Laboratories of California.
In 2001 was a watershed year as Philips shifted into high gear by bringing on two more businesses and their product lines - Agilent and Marconi Medical. By procuring Agilent Technologies Healthcare Solutions Group of Massachusetts, Philips catapulted past GE Medical as the leader of the ultrasound sector. Philips took in Agilent's expertise in the areas of diagnostic cardiology, automated defibrillators, patient monitoring, and point of care diagnostic systems.
Marconi Medical Systems of Ohio, formerly Picker International, was already a huge player in its own right among major global CT suppliers. With Marconi, Philips gained cutting-edge multi-slice CT technology along with cardiology, oncology and PET/CT imaging applications. These two aquirements in one year put Philips in the top 3 for all of the medical equipment industry together with giants Siemens and GE Medical - some say as number two.
In 2005, the growth continued as Philips purchased Stentor, Inc. of California, provider of best-in-class picture archiving and communications systems (PACS). This let Philips to help its clients successfully control the voluminous amounts of imaging data created by its medical scanners. Then, the next year, the growth continued as Philips adopted Witt Biomedical Corporation, the largest independent supplier of Cath Lab monitoring and reporting systems.
In its drive to be crowned King of the Medical Equipment industry, Philips Healthcare Services has obtained six businesses since its inception in 1998. Every single one of the six has expanded Philips' offerings to include a total of 10 medical imaging modalities, from CT to MRI to x-ray, together with defibrillation and cardiac monitoring equipment in addition to image and information management solutions.
So the question is, has Philips entered the royal industry castle yet? Some believe they have. As a matter of fact, before the last two acquisitions, Palo Alto's "growth consulting" business Frost & Sullivan thought so. In 2004 Frost & Sullivan told everyone they were giving Philips 5 awards for "technology and services innovation and industry leadership". Philips was recognized for making distinguished contributions to the cardiac resuscitation and medical imaging industries and for providing leadership in these market segments.
Was Frost & Sullivan merely searching for a spot at the royal court or were these legitimate kudos? Doubtless the latter. F&S held interviews with various market players along with their customers and suppliers, and apparently did extensive research into the medical equipment technology field.
One of the 5 awards included the regent-like titles of "Medical Imaging Company of the Year", "New Care Setting of the Year", and "Medical Imaging Technology of the Year". The other two were for Technology Leadership and Services Innovation Leadership.
The response of Jouko Karvinen, president and CEO of Philips Medical Systems, to the what he recieved sounded like the exact same of an industry coronation speech. He stated, "We proudly accept the Frost Sullivan Awards as an independent validation of Philips business and technology leadership. These five awards are more indicators that Philips continues to set the industry standard for developing innovative products that help treat patients and save lives."
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