“Hospitals are continuing to retool their x-ray departments. These purchases are being planned even though the total volume of x-ray procedures is declining."
Des Plaines, IL (PRWEB) November 25, 2013
U.S. hospitals continue to invest in digital technology for general x-ray systems, with growing interest in future purchases of new radiography systems, according to a new market research report by IMV Medical Information Division.
Purchase plans for fixed general x-ray units with digital radiography (DR) or computed radiography (CR) technology are strong, with 60% of the nation’s hospitals planning to purchase at least one unit between 2013 and 2016. This 60% of sites planning to purchase fixed general x-ray units is higher than the 56% of hospitals reported by IMV in 2010.
IMV reports that at least 90% of the planned purchases will be for replacement units, and the average age of x-ray units being replaced is 13.6 years. Key drivers for purchases are productivity gains achieved using digital technology, particularly DR technology.
Of the general x-ray units planned for purchase in the next three years, 90% are planned as DR units (which allow digital x-ray images to be acquired directly into a computer without the use of a removable cassette), and 10% will use CR cassette technology (in which the x-ray image is acquired digitally onto a phosphor plate, which is then physically taken to a CR reader to capture the x-ray image digitally).
Survey results also indicate that 40% of hospital radiology departments with x-ray systems already have DR technology, while 59% of departments use CR technology. Even though 40% of the x-ray units currently installed are DR, the percent of DR units installed on an annual basis has increased from 27% of those installed in 2004 to about 90% of those installed in 2013.
“Hospitals are continuing to retool their x-ray departments,” observed Lorna Young, senior director of market research at IMV. “These purchases are being planned even though the total volume of x-ray procedures is declining."
Young noted that in 2013, an estimated 159.7 million x-ray procedures will be performed in 4,960 U.S. hospital radiology departments using fixed general x-ray equipment. Compared with an estimated 182.9 million x-ray procedures conducted in 2010, this represents an average annual decline of 4.4% per year. Coupled with the increased productivity that DR units can provide, this decline in procedures may lead to a reduction in the total number of x-ray procedure rooms needed in radiology, the report states.
“Although a relatively large number of hospitals are planning to purchase at least one fixed general x-ray unit over the next few years, many facilities may be planning to use the new DR units to replace two or more installed fixed x-ray units. Over two-thirds of the survey respondents indicated that a department priority is to reduce the number of x-ray procedure rooms in the radiology/imaging department,” Young said. “This department objective may result in a reduction in the total number of installed fixed general x-ray units over the next few years.”
Other report findings include the following:
- Of the x-ray procedures performed in the main radiology departments, 41% are chest studies, 17% are abdomen/pelvis, 17% are extremity, and 15% are spine procedures.
- Nearly half (47%) of the respondents indicated that a department priority is to “standardize the manufacturers (OEMs) utilized across the organization for x-ray equipment,” giving high importance ratings of “4” or “5” on a five-point scale. This priority may be a positive driver for general x-ray purchase activity.
IMV’s 2013 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 and market scenarios for unit sales through 2016, CR readers installed and planned, capital equipment budgets, types of organizations used for service, site operations characteristics, and department managers' opinions about the factors affecting the future outlook for general x-ray. Vendors covered in this report include Agfa, Canon, Carestream, Fujifilm, GE, Konica, Philips, Shimadzu, Siemens, Swissray, and Toshiba.
The report is based on responses from 363 radiology administrators/managers nationwide in U.S. short-term general hospitals. Their responses have been projected to the universe of 4,960 short-term general hospitals in the United States. For more information about IMV’s report, visit the corporate website at http://www.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 research services, in combination with its databases of U.S. imaging sites with selected modalities, provide clients with valuable assistance in strategic planning, customer satisfaction, product development, and sales initiatives.