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Digital X-ray IC sales seen to reach $800M in 2011

Posted: 24 May 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:digital X-ray? medical imaging? IC sales?

Market research company, Databeans Inc., has forecasted that semiconductor sales in the digital X-ray industry would reach $800 million by end-2011, reflecting a gradual reversal in the recession-fed bearish market trend for medical imaging technologies.

Databeans expects digital X-ray products, including flat panel detectors (FPD) and mobile units, to experience the highest overall compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) in the medical imaging category with a 10 percent average growth projected until 2016. This is slightly higher than the current eight percent of overall semiconductor revenues in the medical imaging market.

According to the company, an ongoing shift in the digitization of existing analog X-ray systems, the demand for new digital systems in developing countries and the increased usage of portable and mobile digital X-ray systems in veterinary practice and remote healthcare centers, have driven the market forward.

In addition, medical personnel are enthused by increasingly common mobile X-ray products to act even more independently by taking images on site, such as in emergency rooms, in wards, in radiology, traumatology, orthopedics or pediatrics.

Databeans said newer imaging technologies, such as computed radiography (CR), charged couple device (CCD), and flat panel detectors (FPD) have also made a big impact on the digital X-ray market. FPD devices, in particular, are rapidly becoming the industry standard in room-based angiography and cardiology X-ray machines, owing to significant improvements in image quality, processing speed, and dose-reduction.

Meanwhile, the more mobile FPD C-arm X-ray systems have continued to penetrate the market, especially in many smaller clinics and hospitals which consider conventional digital room-based interventional X-ray equipment as too costly and which look toward mobile digital systems, such as FPD C-Arm X-rays, to help provide a lower-cost alternative, while still offering many necessary features.

However, Databeans explained that while the benefits of FPD have been proven to health care providers, high cost factors combined with recent capital expenditure freezes and hospital budget cuts have nonetheless prevented a faster shift to the technology and have barred greater product penetration.

The company said hospital administrators have been forced to decide whether the benefits of FPD mobile X-ray system outweigh the initial purchasing cost and if, as in most cases, the higher efficiency of FPD actually leads to long-term cost savings for the hospital or clinic.

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