November 1, 2019

The story of I-MED

November 1, 2019

The story of I-MED

Twenty years ago, the radiology world was a very different place. The idea of an Australia-wide radiology network, serving communities as diverse as Darwin or downtown Hobart, seemed a remote possibility. But since I-MED’s formation in 2000, step by step, region by region, a nation-wide company has grown up. Today I-MED Radiology Network stands as Australia’s leading medical imaging provider.

Along with the organic growth of our network, many individual clinics and partnerships have joined to become part of a strong and common culture. Some clinics have had a proud history of operating for fifty years or more. Some are celebrating twenty or thirty year milestones.

Other clinics are brand new, often established in communities that have never before had their own radiology service. And our many clinics based in private and public hospitals work with hundreds of specialist doctors and clinicians providing life-saving diagnostic services to patients.

What unites all the clinics, and the people who work in them, is the drive to provide exceptional radiology services, and a commitment to care and compassion for patients. This is what makes I-MED unique, as we have grown to become Australia’s radiology provider of choice for both practitioners and patients. 

Along the way, I-MED Radiology has been listed on the stock exchange, then delisted and privatised,  and now is proudly owned by the global private equity firm Permira, who recognised in I-MED the twin qualities of outstanding quality and service which they believe are the critical factors in the diagnostic space. 

“I-MED Radiology is an investment we are very proud of,” says Silvia Oteri, Permira Partner. “With advances in medical imaging technology, and the leadership role I-MED holds in Australia in the diagnostic imaging space, we see a bright future ahead.” 

Technology has played a huge role in the last two decades in radiology. New scanning techniques, improved equipment design and surges in the development of digital platforms give doctors, hospitals and specialists unprecedented views of the body’s interior. Advanced visualisation, 3D colour imaging and incredible muscular detail allow for improved diagnostic accuracy, while greatly-reduced radiation exposure has made procedures safer than ever.

The scale of I-MED Radiology Network means the business can continually invest in research, technology, training, innovation, infrastructure and IT systems. For example, the digital transfer of imaging from machine to radiologist to referrer is enabled by sophisticated systems developed by our IT team. We’ve come a long way from a piece of film going through a ‘fast 90 second’ developing process and then being displayed on a lightbox for the radiologist to report.

Similarly many of our radiologists are leading the way in research and development, identifying new techniques and pioneering new interventional procedures. 

As I-MED looks towards the future, we are focussed on harnessing the opportunities of AI or “assisted intelligence” in image processing, interpretation and operational practices. These immensely exciting technologies will assist I-MED and its radiologists to stay at the forefront on clinical care and exceptional customer service.

Another priority is the continuous training and development among the more than 4,000 employees who work across the network. The process of producing just one scan involves not only the radiologist but a skilled workforce that includes technicians, clinic staff, IT specialists, human resources, customer care, and operational and administration teams. 

In 2018, the company launched ‘Our Vision, Purpose and Values’, to give our people across the network a clearly defined blueprint for the future. The delivery of excellent, patient-centred health care is aligned with our vision, ‘To be the most respected and trusted medical specialists in the world’. Indeed, the I-MED story is just beginning.