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M&A in the UK teleradiology market

An overview of how the UK teleradiology market has evolved and the impact that mergers & acquisitions have had on the sector.

With growing elective care backlogs and limited clinical capacity, the UK healthcare system needs to continually find ways to better utilise resources to meet patient needs.

One area of the market where this has been particularly successful is teleradiology. With the growth in scan volumes outpacing an already overstretched radiologist base, the use of technology-enabled services to increase reporting capacity has been highly effective in managing the workload of the NHS.

The market has grown substantially over the last 20 years, initially driven by Medica, 4Ways, TMC and Everlight. These four players have dominated the market since its inception and grown to significant scale, each having gone through ownership changes.

Following a period of recovery post Covid, the market continues to grow and this has resulted in further transactions amongst these larger operators over the last 12 months. Medica, which was previously publicly listed, was taken private by IK partners, whilst 4ways Healthcare was acquired by European corporate Evidia to strengthen its teleradiology capabilities and enter the UK market.

Recent years have also seen the emergence of smaller operators into the market, aiming to differentiate themselves by offering technology / software solutions beyond core teleradiology reporting. Examples of these disruptors are Hexarad (backed by Foresight) and Axon Diagnostics (who have recently announced an interesting partnership with BT to roll out its products and services).

Continued appetite for teleradiology services will no doubt mean that there is further deal activity in due course, particularly amongst some of the smaller operators. Furthermore, broader technology-enabled clinical services remain a key focus of investors across the healthcare sector as a way of optimising the limited resources within the UK market.


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