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Hg Capital acquires majority stake in Intelerad: The Signify View

February 10, 2020
Business Affairs Health IT
By Steve Holloway, principal analyst for Signify Research

After a relatively short search, Intelerad has found a new majority stakeholder, Hg Capital. The London, U.K.-based investment firm already has invested over $1B in the healthcare and life sciences sector, including firms such as Rhapsody and Corepoint (healthcare data interoperability), Allocate Software (healthcare workforce management) Evaluate (Pharmaceutical commercial information and advisory) and Medifox (ambulatory care services). The deal is expected to close by the end of 1Q 2020, providing Intelerad with a substantial new investor and war chest. So what will Intelerad do with the new funds and what challenges lie ahead?

The Signify view
Short term: Foundation laid, time to grow

Intelerad has been one of the success stories of the imaging informatics market in recent years. While still relatively small, the Montreal-headquartered firm has been steadily gaining market share, a product of the relatively early evolution of its portfolio toward a platform-based solution to support enterprise radiology IT. This has brought success in the outpatient imaging and private radiology reading group segment in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, while also supporting a disruptive entry into the U.S. and U.K. acute hospital market.

In the short-term, the focus will remain along similar lines, especially given the changing shape of imaging services in the U.S., the largest single market for imaging IT globally. The provision of imaging services in the U.S. is in a period of transition; increasing scan volumes, limited reading resources and declining reimbursement on account of changing care models is causing many large health systems to revaluate their imaging services.

We see three major trends that Intelerad will be looking to leverage:
– Greater scrutiny on operational efficiency and workflow for imaging and diagnostic radiology services by large health systems and acute hospitals
– Consolidation of the approximately 14,000 private radiologist reading groups into much larger regional and national entities, many of which have acquired or are acquiring outpatient imaging centres
– Growth in use of teleradiology services

The firm is well positioned in the near-term to capitalise on these trends; the late 2018 acquisition of Clario has added capabilities supporting organisations measuring and tracking the operational performance of imaging service lines, which will only start to be realised this year following a period of integration. This will be a useful asset for one of the key battlegrounds for the market this year — radiologist productivity. Given the fierce competition for deals and growing tendency for competitors to “race to the bottom” on price to win customer share, being able to prove clear return-on-investment (ROI) over the contract term helps differentiate the offering.

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