Emerging markets to power medical imaging equipment revenue growth

Driven by the developing world, the global imaging market will increase total revenues from $24.1 billion in 2012 to almost $30 billion by 2017, according to a briefing by Roberto G. Aranibar, a senior industry analyst of medical imaging for Frost & Sullivan.

The briefing, presented April 25, summarized the findings from Frost & Sullivan's upcoming "2013 Global Medical Imaging Equipment Market Outlook Report."

In 2012, the developed world represented about two-thirds of the medical imaging equipment market, with North America accounting for 25 percent of the market, followed by Europe (19 percent), Japan (17 percent) and China (12 percent). The developing world represented 36 percent of the market in 2012.

However, Aranibar said, "emerging markets are becoming increasingly significant and that trend should continue over the next five years. We're projecting [emerging market share] to represent 40 percent of the market by 2017."

The imaging equipment market basically splits down the middle between advanced imaging modalities--such as CT, MRI and molecular imaging--and basic modalities--such as X-ray and ultrasound--Aranibar said. But, he added, the expectation is that the market share represented by advanced modalities should increase in emerging markets.

"This is based on the fact that as healthcare infrastructure and the number of qualified physicians and clinical personnel in emerging markets grow, the equipment being purchased in these regions is becoming more advanced as well," Aranibar said.

A number of opportunities and challenges face the medical imaging market over the next five years, according to Aranibar. Opportunities in the developed markets will revolve around issues like the formation of accountable care organizations in the U.S., the imaging penetration potential in central and eastern European countries that have relatively healthy economies, replacement market potential, and the growing importance of patient experience.

Emerging markets, meanwhile, will provide growth opportunity through substantial public and private investments in healthcare infrastructure development and modernization, an expanding middle class, and an increasing number of insured patients and physicians.

Challenges in the developed world include ongoing economic issues and limited provider budgets, reduced imaging procedure reimbursements and increasingly stringent regulation and oversight of advanced imaging equipment. In emerging markets challenges include competition from local and pre-owned medical imaging equipment vendors, shortages of radiologists, physicians, radiologic technologist and other medical professionals, and substantial populations of uninsured patients.

"Revenue sustainability will continue to increasingly become a function of portfolio mix and geographical targeting," Aranibar concluded. "Revenue sustainability and growth over the next five years for individual competitors as well as the total market are largely dependent on how appropriately vendors are targeting growing regions and how appropriately they mix their offerings in each region in order to cater to the need of those regions."

Research by Wellesley, Mass.-based BCC Research published in December determined that the total value of the global medical imaging market will reach more than $34 billion by 2017.

To learn more:
listen to the Frost & Sullivan briefing

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