Lexmark moves slowly, but solidly. Its latest move is the acquisition of medical imaging technology provider Claron in an all cash deal worth $37 million.

Lexmark has also announced that once the deal is closed it will incorporate Claron’s medical content management technology into Perceptive, the enterprise content management vendor that Lexmark bought in 2010 for $280 million.

If this all appears to be a little marginal to the main ECM game plan, then think again.

New research by Dallas-based MarketsandMarkets has estimated that the medical document management systems market could be worth an estimated $425 million by 2019, up from $220 million this year. While that is a relatively small amount of money in the overall ECM scheme of things, there are few enough players in the market, making it a lucrative if specialized sweet spot.

Perceptive, Claron And Lexmark

But back to Claron. According to Lexmark, it will leave the surgical navigation portion of Claron separate and operate it under the name Claronav.The rest will be incorporated into Perceptive, which will enable Perceptive to expand its offering to healthcare providers by enabling medical professionals to exchange, share and collaborate on patient information and imaging that exists outside the electronic medical records systems.

Claron's enterprise medical image viewing platform offers web-based access to patient imaging studies from picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) or vendor neutral archives.
Lexmark says that Claron combined with its other acquisitions in the healthcare technology space will expand its footprint in the market and enable it develop its medical content management strategy.

This is not the first time Lexmark has ventured into the medical content management space, acquiring a number of others over the years, including Acuo and Pacsgear.

It has also made a number of acquisitions over the years that aim to develop it as a business process management player, which if combined with medical content management is expected to generate more than $500 million in revenues for the company by 2016.

Medical Content Management

However, the medical document management market alone is also starting to develop substantially, with MarketsandMarkets noting the need to secure and keep medical documents and records as a key driver.

According to the Medical Document Management Systems Market, the market will get even bigger after 2019 as more and more data is created through more patients and more regularity and compliance demands.

Management of this data and the need to minimize the use of paper to reduce operational costs and storage issues will also drive market growth.

The report also found that the high costs of implementation, confidentiality concerns and the reluctance of medical, nursing and other staff to change their traditional ways are restricting the growth of the market.

However, Perceptive with medical content management is in a strong position to exploit this market. As an ECM provider, it consistently finds its way into the top vendors in research from a whole list of different organizations.

Last May, for example, it appeared as a leader in Nucleus’s Technology Matrix H1 2014 ECM as did OnBase by Hyland (OBH) which also has a significant presence in the medical content management market.

According to Nucleus, Perceptive’s acquisition strategy during 2012 and 2013 has seen it add a large number of functions and abilities as well as ensuring double-digit revenue growth in the last quarter of 2013.

The new functionally, Nucleus said, is enabling it build an end-to-end ECM that limits the software layers that users in the enterprise have to navigate to get work done.

This is just one area of enterprise content management that is starting to grow as a specialty in its own right. There are others like legal or financial content management and more will emerge as the ECM market continues.