IMV Reports General X-ray Procedures Growing at 5.5% per Year, as Number of Installed X-ray Units Declines

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In 2010 an estimated 182.9 million procedures were performed in U.S. hospital radiology departments using fixed general x-ray equipment. Compared with an estimated 140.1 million procedures conducted in 2005, this represents an average annual growth rate of 5.5% per year.

Purchase plans for fixed x-ray units with DR or CR technology are strong.

According to a recent study published by IMV Medical Information Division, in 2010 an estimated 182.9 million procedures were performed in U.S. hospital radiology departments using fixed general x-ray equipment. Compared with an estimated 140.1 million procedures conducted in 2005, this represents an average annual growth rate of 5.5% per year.

These 182.9 million procedures were performed on an estimated 15,900 fixed x-ray radiography units, including both conventional x-ray and digital radiography (DR) units. This represents a slight decline in the total fixed x-ray installed base of approximately 1% per year since 2005, when an estimated 16,510 units were installed in the nation's hospital radiology departments.

"DR and computed radiography (CR) technology has allowed facilities to reduce their total installed base, while increasing their productivity," observed Lorna Young, Senior Director, Market Research. "Presently, over one-quarter of the installed x-ray units have DR technology (which allows digital x-ray images to be acquired directly into a computer without requiring the use of a removable cassette). CR technology (in which the x-ray image is acquired on a phosphor plate that is installed in a cassette, which is then taken to a CR reader that digitally captures the x-ray image) is used by 70% of the units. The remaining 4% of the fixed x-ray units are traditional film-only units, which has decreased from about one-third of the total installed base back in 2005."

"Going forward, 16% of the hospitals are planning to retire a few of their fixed x-ray units over the next three years, in order to reduce the total number installed in their main radiology departments. However, purchase plans for fixed x ray units with DR or CR technology are strong, with over half of the nation's hospitals planning to purchase at least one unit between 2011 and 2013, as the hospitals continue to re-tool their x-ray departments."

IMV's 2010 X-ray/DR/CR Market Outlook Report describes hospital trends in general radiography procedures, the fixed x-ray installed base, DR and CR technology adoption, purchase plans for new and retrofitted fixed units by radiology, capital equipment budgets, types of organizations used for service, and site operations characteristics. This study includes installed base estimates for fixed and mobile/portable x-ray units managed by radiology in all hospital locations, as well as units not managed by radiology that are located in other hospital locations. Other highlights include:

  •     Of the x-ray procedures performed in the main radiology departments, 44% were chest studies, 17% were abdomen/pelvis, 15% were extremity, and 13% were spine procedures.
  •     In addition to the 182.9 million general x-ray procedures performed in the main radiology department, an estimated 67.6 million procedures were performed in associated hospital locations where the x-ray equipment is managed by radiology.
  •     The top six departments with fixed general x-ray imaging equipment owned/managed by radiology include outpatient clinics outside the hospital (48%), the emergency department (26%), imaging centers owned by the hospital (25%), orthopedics (13%), surgery/OR (11%), and the outpatient department in the hospital (10%).
  •     Overall, an estimated total of 12,770 portable x-ray units are owned or managed by 4,245 radiology departments, resulting in an average of 3.0 portable x-ray units per hospital.

IMV's 2010 X-ray/DR/CR Market Outlook Report is based on the responses from 362 radiology administrators/managers nationwide, whose primary hospitals are short-term general. Their responses have been projected to the universe of 4,895 short-term general hospitals in the United States. For more information about IMV's report, visit the corporate website at http://XrayReport.imvinfo.com or call 847-297-1404 to speak with a representative.

IMV Medical Information Division is a marketing research and consulting firm founded in 1977, specializing in medical imaging and other advanced healthcare technology markets. IMV's marketing consulting services, in combination with its databases of U.S. imaging sites with selected modalities, provide clients valuable assistance in strategic planning, customer satisfaction, product development and sales initiatives.

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