Friday, November 4, 2011

Dramatic Change in X-Ray Market As Digital Exceeds Traditional Systems

Kalorama Information estimates that digital X-Ray system sales will exceed those of traditional x-ray systems used for a medical (non-dental) purpose in 2011.  According to the healthcare market research publisher, revenues for digital X-ray systems are the largest component of the 12 billion-dollar radiography market, slightly higher than the firm’s projection for traditional systems.   According to Kalorama Information’s Report: Medical Imaging Markets: X-Ray, Digital X-Ray, CT and Other Radiography Systems, digital x-ray will exhibit the highest growth in the market radiography market which includes mammography, fluoroscopy, dental imaging, computed tomography, and analog x-ray systems.
Our recent report states that it is initially expensive to purchase a digital system such as the Philips DigitalDiagnost or the Siemens AXIOM Multix, or the products of several other companies.  But with continued usage, operating costs are lower than those of standard radiography. Digital systems do not require film and processing, the annual costs of which can be as great as the capital cost of standard radiographic equipment.   And, once a digital system is installed, a large film storage facilities are no longer needed.   
“The initial cost of buying a digital system is several times higher than a conventional system,” said Joe Constance, the report’s author and imaging analyst for Kalorama Information.  “But the high cost can be justified, particularly  in a high volume setting.“
Kalorama finds that it is not cost savings but convenience and usability that are especially driving system sales.  Diagnosticians can retrieve digital x-rays almost instantly from a computer terminal.   The movement to digitize diagnostic imaging is closely tied to the movement to boost health care efficiency through the digitization of health care records – electronic medical records (EMRs). As a result of steadily increasing digital business, radiology equipment manufacturers that once had significant involvement in film and film-related technologies have been investing in alternative digital technologies.
The report also notes change in the competitors operating in x-ray equipment.  Because innovation relies greatly on funding, large companies with flexible budgets for research and development have owned a sizable percentage of the market. But others, such as Kodak, have left the business. That company decided to focus its attention on the significant digital growth opportunities in consumer and professional imaging and graphic communications. 
            The report contains analysis of the market including company profiles, regional market breakouts, key trends and market shares of competitors.  The report can be found at: