The global market for integrating more technology into surgical suites is expected to grow to $3.1 billion in 2018, up from $1.86 billion in 2011, according to a market study from GlobalData.
The efficiencies gained by operating-room solutions allow hospitals to schedule more surgeries, thereby increasing revenue, according to a GlobalData announcement, "Operating Room Solutions Market - An Overview." The report says hospitals also save money by trimming OR support staffing.
The biggest challenge to market growth is the expense of OR solutions, which start at $250,000 and run as high as $2 million, according to GlobalData. Other estimates of costs are higher: Last year, ECRI Institute estimated so-called hybrid ORs cost between $1.5 million and $9 million.
Hospitals challenged by rising health-care costs can struggle to make that kind of investment, the analysts suggest, especially in economically unstable European markets.
And new operating-room technology already is changing surgery.
At Williamsport (Pa.) Regional Medical Center, a robotic, multi-axis imaging system allows surgeons to perform both open and minimally invasive procedures in the same operating room. The imaging system also gives surgeons a detailed view of internal organs and reduces patient exposure to radiation.
The hybrid OR saves money by reducing operating time and the need for patient transport, the hospital reports in an announcement this week. In a recent case, vascular surgeon Eric Adams, a vascular surgeon from the Susquehanna Health Heart & Vascular Institute, inserted a stent to open a patient's iliac artery, one of two major arteries to the lower body.
In San Antonio, meanwhile, University Health System uses digital tags to electronically track surgery patients through pre-op, surgery and recovery, according to a report by television station KENS.
Hospital officials say electronic tracking saves time, allowing them to perform more surgeries.