Clear demographic trends that show an aging and less healthy population requiring more medical care and treatment will drive the U.S. diagnostic imaging market to reach sales of approximately $4.5 billion in 2017. Over the next five years, ultrasound and specialized nuclear medicine systems will drive the growth in the diagnostic imaging industry.
According to the Millennium Research Group’s “US Markets for Diagnostic Imaging Systems” report, ultrasound imaging will be among the fastest growing segments of the diagnostic imaging market. The ultrasound market is expected to reach $1.8 billion by 2017.
Ultrasound has become a preferred method of diagnostic testing because it is relatively less expensive than other types of imaging. Hospitals can purchase more ultrasound equipment and patients will incur lower out-of-pocket costs compared to an expensive MRI or other type of diagnostic imaging procedure.
Advancements in Cardiology Ultrasound Systems Such as 3-D/4-D
Real time imaging and complex image manipulation allow companies like GE Healthcare and Siemens Healthcare to command higher prices for the equipment, thus, increasing the total revenues generated by ultrasound equipment.
Radiology departments are also switching from other modalities like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT scans). Portable ultrasound systems have improved dramatically, making them most desirable in hospitals, clinics and other types of medical facilities.
In demand and selling at premium prices are specialized nuclear systems that combine photo emission CT and positron emission tomography. Together, the hybrid system allows greater versatility and enhanced diagnostic capabilities over a standalone SPECT system. The cost of a hybrid Spect/CT system can approach one million dollars. With hospitals demanding the most modern equipment, these high-priced machines will help drive growth in the future.
The growth of diagnostic imaging equipment sales is a function of average selling price and the volume of units sold. With reimbursement cuts and radiation concerns a real issue, ultrasound systems and more functional units are more important than ever. Growth of the industry should be slow, but steady.