McKesson Corporation has agreed to buy ALI Technologies, a Vancouver-based enterprise medical imaging solutions company in a deal worth around $340m (£243m).

ALI products, which include PACS, are designed to streamline access to diagnostic information, automate clinical workflow and eliminate the need for film. The companies say the deal is expected to close within 90 days, subject to regulatory approval.

McKesson plans to incorporate ALI Technologies products into its Horizon Clinicals offering, claiming that the additional features will make it the most comprehensive clinical offering on the market including the most complete patient record.

A McKesson spokesperson confirmed that the products would be marketed internationally. "ALI currently has representatives based in Germany and France, and recently had a large win at Toulouse Hospitals, which is one of the most prestigous hospitals in that country," she said.

Explaining the logic of the acquisition, John H. Hammergren, McKesson president and chief executive officer said, "Today, more than 40% of all medical exams use digital technology such as Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) applications, and that percentage is increasing rapidly as digital X-Ray technology is being deployed.

”New medical device technology in these digital applications is also creating a rapid increase in the number of images being created per exam. Electronic image networks and sophisticated imaging workstations are increasingly viewed as a necessity to properly interpret these complex cases. Recent surveys indicate that nearly half of our near-term clinical prospects are actively looking for a new medical image management solution.

ALI Technologies has more than 500 ultrasound and PACS installations in the US and Canada and clients include the Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Kaiser Permanante.