HBI talks to Europe’s largest imaging and outpatient provider by revenue Affidea’s group CEO Giuseppe Recchi about its recent acquisition spree and AI partnerships. He says its pipeline of acquisitions will double its size in the next two years.
Deals in Lithuania and now Italy take the group’s European presence to 260 centres across 16 countries. In the last few months, it has acquired around 19 centres and last week announced the acquisition of NSL Health Centers, a collection of four diagnostic imaging centres and a physiotherapy/outpatient clinic in Rome.
Recchi tells HBI: “There’s an increased need for consolidation as pressure from public payors forces operators to be as lean and efficient as possible. Only the big or well-structured groups can bring that best value proposition for large payors and establishing b2b relationships. Having the a wide network of centres allows us to do what the individual centre cannot do, in terms of clinical processes, protocols, and compliance.
“In Italy, the pressure comes a bit from the budget (although NSL has a private pay customer base) with demand growing, but the real pinch comes from doctors salaries as there is a huge scarcity of radiologists and doctors, and this is a common factor across every country we operate. I think it is the result of a lack of vision in planning for number of students in medical practice.
“We have a strong pipeline of acquisitions from now until the end of the year and we should double the size of our business in the next two years.”
He says Affidea’s size makes it the ideal testing ground for AI applications in imaging. In March, it joined forces with software solutions company icometrix to pilot an AI tool for multiple sclerosis (MS), in Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and Serbia with a view to roll it out across all 16 countries in the next six months.
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