SOURCE: Kalorama Information

Kalorama Information

November 04, 2011 15:23 ET

Dramatic Change in X-Ray Market as Digital Systems Exceed Traditional

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 4, 2011) - 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 radiography market, slightly higher than the firm's projection for traditional systems. Kalorama notes in its new report: "Medical Imaging Markets: X-Ray, Digital X-Ray, CT and Other Radiography Systems," that digital x-ray will exhibit the highest growth in the radiography market which includes mammography, fluoroscopy, dental imaging, computed tomography, and analog x-ray systems.

The report states that it is initially expensive to purchase a digital x-ray system such as the Philips DigitalDiagnost, the Siemens AXIOM Multix, or products from several other companies. But with continued use, operating costs are lower than with standard radiography. Digital systems don't require film and processing, the annual cost of which can be as great as the capital cost of standard radiographic equipment. And, once a digital system is installed, 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 the 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 changes 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, "Medical Imaging Markets: X-Ray, Digital X-Ray, CT and Other Radiography Systems," contains analysis of the market including company profiles, regional market breakouts, key trends and market shares of competitors.

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