Sunquest immediately becomes nation’s largest provider of clinical pathology laboratory information systems
Earlier today, a deal was announced which has major implications for the anatomic pathology informatics marketplace. Sunquest Information Systems, Inc., released the news that it acquired the PowerPath pathology information software product from the Swedish company Elekta AB. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
The PowerPath acquisition is significant because it immediately makes Sunquest the “big dog” of pathology information systems in the United States, when measured by the number of pathology clients.
In this country, three anatomic pathology laboratory information systems make up the largest part of the market. In alphabetical order, Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ: CERN) has its CoPath product; Elekta has just sold its PowerPath product, and Sunquest has the Sunquest version of CoPath.
Pathology Informatics Market Dominated By Three Products
Dark Daily believes that each of these three products has a market share of between 20% and 25%. It is a reasonable estimate that their combined market share may total as much as 75% to 80% of the market for pathology information systems in the United States. Thus, it may be that the individual market shares of ProPath and Sunquest CoPath now give the Tucson, Arizona-based software company about 50% of the pathology informatics software marketing in this nation.
Sunquest completed its acquisition of ProPath last Friday, on September 30. In today’s press release, Sunquest stated that “the ProPath acquisition further solidifies Sunquest’s leading position in the Anatomic Pathology LIS market.”
What’s Next for the PowerPath Pathology Informatics Sofware?
For pathologists pondering the meaning of this acquisition and wondering what may come next with ProPath, the answer lies in Sunquest’s actions since a private equity company acquired Sunquest from MiSys in 2007. Over the past four years, new owners and new executive leadership at Sunquest have infused greater energy into a LIS (laboratory information software) company that was moribund under MiSys, its previous owner.
Since 2007, Sunquest has devoted considerable resources into updating its flagship LIS software. It has also watched the rather swift changes in anatomic pathology that have occurred over the same four years. It would be reasonable to assume that Sunquest believes its ownership of PowerPath can open new doors for it in locations where PowerPath is in use, but the clinical laboratory in that hospital or health system does not use the Sunquest LIS.
Richard Atkin, CEO of Sunquest, stated in the press release that the acquisition of PowerPath would result in “an increased critical mass and expertise to meet the needs of the pathologist in this important and growing market.” That hints at a possible strategy at Sunquest to achieve a greater integration involving its LIS and its two anatomic pathology LIS products.
Finally, this unexpected acquisition of PowerPath by Sunquest is more evidence that professional investors continue to see substantial potential in the field of anatomic pathology. The regular introduction of useful new molecular assays and genetic tests moving from research labs into the nation’s surgical pathology laboratories is one important reason why experts see so much clinical and financial potential in serving the needs of the nation’s anatomic pathologists.