Feature | August 19, 2013

Frost & Sullivan Analyzes Medical Imaging Equipment Preferences Among U.S. Radiology Directors

Survey reveals most healthcare institutions are loyal to select manufacturers

August 19, 2013 — Among the U.S. medical imaging equipment surveyed by Frost & Sullivan, including general radiography, ultrasound and capital imaging; picture archiving and communications (PACS); and imaging IT hardware/middleware, the research shows these markets are fairly homogenous as primarily dominated by single brands. The gap between the leading manufacturer and runner-up’s market share, on average, is 15 percentage points. Established medical imaging equipment brands account for at least 25 percent of the market in their respective segments, and leading capital imaging equipment manufacturers top the list with as much as 55 percent of the market share.

The “2012 United States Radiology Directors’ Choice: Medical Imaging Equipment” research from Frost & Sullivan features a detailed description of these figures. The analysis surveyed 152 North American radiology directors, executives and managers working for hospital-based radiology departments to assess preferences regarding department use of medical imaging equipment and services. A majority of the survey respondents noted their institutions followed the preferred vendor model, where the bulk of the equipment is purchased from two or three select manufacturers. 

“Given that 76 percent of those surveyed represent hospitals that are affiliated with other hospital groups, it is not surprising that more structured purchase processes are established,” said Frost & Sullivan Customer Research Director Tonya Fowler. “Furthermore, the vendor selection process is primarily shared by leading members within radiology departments and possibly beyond the walls of a single hospital. Yet, it is those in the role of radiology director that have the most authority, as 39 percent are sole decision makers.”

To a large degree, across the spectrum of facility, bed size or imaging volume, respondents’ responses did not indicate any stark variations in brand perception or utilization. Top brands used in various market segments were often reflective of general industry market share trends.

In terms of specific brands, GE Healthcare was identified as having a strong competitive advantage with high levels of usage. In most cases, customers across categories had a more robust perception of the GE brand than its competitors.

“Overall, the top brands used within radiology departments are widespread,” concluded Fowler. “Therefore, vendors looking to displace entrenched market leaders need to clearly identify who the true decision makers are and approach those with the most authority, armed with focused messages to showcase their differentiated factors from the incumbent brands.”

For more information: www.medtech.frost.com

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