News | May 15, 2013

Emphasis on X-Ray Quality Spurs Adoption of Computed, Digital Radiography in Europe

Frost & Sullivan says the increasing popularity of retrofit systems fuels market growth

The need to improve the efficiency and quality of X-ray examinations will drive healthcare facilities across Europe to install computed radiography (CR) and digital radiography (DR) systems. The emergence of retrofit systems based on flat panel technology has popularized DR systems, and will sustain investments in the European computed and digital radiography market.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Western and Eastern European Markets for Computed and Digital Radiography, finds that the market earned revenues of more than $388.8 million in 2011 and estimates this to reach $473.9 million in 2016.

The implementation of picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) will contribute to the growth of the CR and DR market in Europe, as healthcare facilities look to fully benefit from the benefits of both PACS and digital X-ray solutions.

"CR and DR technologies' advantages over analogue X-rays, which include increased patient throughput as well as shorter examination and result analysis times, have also encouraged their adoption," said Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Industry Analyst Dominika Grzywinska. "The shortage of radiologists further drives uptake, as digital systems enable a radiologist to cater to nearly three times the number of patients served using analogue X-rays."

Retrofit systems, which facilitate the upgrade of existing X-ray systems without replacing the installed base, are growing popular especially in Western Europe. In fact, many end users prefer retrofit solutions offering high throughput and image quality at reasonable costs, rather than new DR systems that require added investments.

While these retrofit systems have made digitization more cost-effective and prices of both CR and DR systems continue to decline, affordability remains an issue owing to the challenging economic situation in Europe.

"Customers are placing greater emphasis on return-on-investments, looking for solutions tailored to their needs at an affordable price," concluded Grzywinska. "Therefore, vendors need to deliver mid-range and low-end solutions that appeal to a wider range of customers and to smaller end users in particular."

In Italy, large public healthcare facilities are mostly interested in full-room DR solutions, rather than retrofit systems. The later ones are being purchased mostly by private facilities, which prefer to purchase a less expensive X-ray system and invest in other modalities, than to purchase a very expensive, high-end DR system.

For more information: www.medtech.frost.com

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