Movers and Shakers Interview with Dr. Stephen N Kahane, CEO of AMICAS, Inc.
Dr. Stephen N. Kahane is the chief executive officer and vice chairman of AMICAS, Inc. (formerly VitalWorks Inc.), a leader in Web-based medical image and information management solutions. Dr. Kahane has nearly 20 years of experience in the healthcare IT industry, including having been CEO at two healthcare IT companies prior to his joining AMICAS nearly five years ago. Dr. Kahane has also trained and served on the faculty at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institution.
Under his direction, AMICAS has become one of the largest and most influential providers of I.T. solutions for imaging centers, hospitals, and radiology practices in the industry, and is one of the largest pure-play I.T. vendors in the field of radiology. AMICAS is a pioneer in Web-based medical image and information management solutions, and its products have been repeatedly recognized as "best-of-breed” by both its client partners and the industry.
Dr. Kahane's career has focused primarily on directing healthcare I.T. organizations into leadership positions in their respective fields by delivering unrivaled value propositions to clients and partners, and by delivering strong returns to their stakeholders. Dr. Kahane is based in AMICAS' Boston corporate headquarters.
Frost & Sullivan: AMICAS has achieved many successes under your leadership. What are the key milestones achieved over the past five years?
Dr. Kahane: The key milestones were directed at reorganizing the company to focus on specific market segments, and to make sure that the teams were equipped with the right tools and capabilities to go after those target markets. We are lucky enough to have extremely talented people who know those target market segments really well.
Until recently, we had targeted two specific market segments: radiology and medical practices. At the beginning of the year, though, we sold our medical division to Cerner, representing what I feel was the most significant milestone in our company's history. Both divisions had much to offer and have great opportunities in the market, but it became evident that in order to achieve the level of growth and success that we sought, and to fully exploit the extraordinary opportunities available in the radiology market segment, we needed to intensify our focus on radiology, continue our aggressive R&D efforts, and accelerate the momentum we have achieved in this area. We plan to expand our distribution infrastructure, and add complementary solutions and services directly or through strategic partnerships and acquisitions. The divestiture of our medical division facilitates these needs and plans.
Other previous milestones included the 2002 release of a major browser-based radiology information system, as well as our acquisition in 2003 of the industry's leading supplier of Web-based PACS. We are now the leading vendor of image and information management systems to the imaging center and radiology groups market. Today we believe we have the largest installed-base of systems in this market. In addition, we believe we are the only major vendor that has Web-based solutions for RIS and PACS, and we're very excited about the opportunities to deliver value into this large customer base. With our PACS and our strategic partnerships, we are expanding our presence in the hospital space as well, with a great deal of recent success.
Frost & Sullivan: What kind of culture and values do you intend to implement at AMICAS under your leadership?
Dr. Kahane: As CEO, I have been visiting our offices and meeting with our people, and I have been trying to understand their experience in the marketplace. I have been out at customers' sites and interacted with our partners as well. The real key to success is making sure that we understand and identify the opportunities that our customers have to improve their businesses and to improve the care they deliver to patients, and figuring out how we can help them achieve their goals. That's what we are here to do. We are here to help them achieve their own goals-clinical, financial, administrative, and lifestyle.
Carefully applied image and information management technology and services can make a big difference in almost any radiology practice. We are here as information management and technology experts. We help those customers and partners carefully apply information technology and management into their business, financial, clinical, and personal needs. So it's value delivery coupled with a real commitment to teamwork.
It's that simple. If AMICAS can hum and really work together as a tight-knit team, focusing on delivering value to the marketplace in the niche market we're targeting, I think everyone will win. Patients will win, practices to which we provide our products and services will win, the doctors and their staff will feel good about what they are doing, referring physicians and their staff will stand in awe of what well-equipped radiology practices can deliver, and we as a company will win as well.
Frost & Sullivan: What is the vision and mission of AMICAS? What are the strategies you have planned to realize them and increase the shareholders value?
Dr. Kahane: Our vision and mission is to provide quality systems and services to radiology and other specialties with intensive image and information management needs. Our solutions are carefully designed and configured to address the complete set of needs of imaging center and radiology group practices, and the image management and related enterprise workflow needs of acute care settings. Our solution is completely integrated but modular. Our complete vision of the future is that customers will be able to pick and choose the modules, features, and functions they want to use, all in a single platform and all from a top-flight, proven vendor-partner. For imaging centers and radiology groups, buying different information systems-RIS, PACS, billing, reporting, document management, etc.-from different vendors is a very inefficient way for them to get their job done. What we're trying to do is really make sure that we deliver that end-to-end image and information management solution they need. For hospitals, best-of-breed image management with top-flight enterprise workflow support fits well into the IT strategy. Our HIS/RIS-independent solution allows hospitals to go best-of-breed, yet still retain their previous investments as they deem appropriate. We make sure that we have the industry's leading solutions and services, and we make sure that we have a strong and growing distribution capability through which we can distribute and sell effectively in the marketplace. We have always been sensitive to the unique, challenging technology needs of our target audience, and I think that differentiates us from some of the other-and in some cases bigger-players out there. We know that this technology has to be delivered in a very cost effective way so that the total cost of ownership is justifiable. ROI is fast, and the careful application of technology and delivering it in a modular way allows for evolutionary adoption, where customers can adopt technology over time.
Frost & Sullivan: The U.S needs a strong healthcare IT infrastructure in order to bring down the rising costs of healthcare. How do you think the government can financially support the healthcare IT vendors even after facing huge budget deficits?
Dr. Kahane: I think there are two ways that the government can help. One way is to carefully consider subsidization of IT purchases. This is still under consideration, and has to be done very carefully. I think there are some technologies that benefit every practice, such as electronic medical records. It makes sense for the government to try and move that along. Our experience with image-enabling the electronic medical record at both the largest IDNs in the country, as well as at community hospitals, has proven to be tremendously successful. This is the only way that truly filmless care environments can be realized. Second and equally important is the need to document and show that these systems are making a difference so that the government can help with funds. Researchers should measure the development of these systems and publish them. Make sure the world understands just how beneficial these systems are today and how beneficial they will be going forward. Funds are necessary to show the evidence that these systems are beneficial to doctors. When they come across this information, they will naturally adopt.
Frost & Sullivan: How fast do you think AMICAS will expand in the global healthcare IT arena?
Dr. Kahane: Image and information management-which applies not only to radiology but also to other image-intensive specialties such as orthopedics, cardiology, and others-is one of the most important segments of the market today. Needs are intense and are continuing to intensify in large part due to the proliferation of new imaging modalities and the aging population. While our primary focus is capitalizing on the significant domestic market, we are also exploring a number of interesting opportunities abroad. I believe our expansion into the global arena will gain traction within the next twelve months, and will continue to grow in the upcoming years. We will pursue this only to the extent we know that we can deliver top-flight value and ROI for our customer partners.
For further information please contact:
+44 (0) 207 915 7856