The global X-ray equipment market for medical, dental and veterinary applications reached the $10 billion mark in 2012 and should increase by 18 percent to $12 billion by 2017, according to IMS Research.
"General radiography is undergoing a major transition away from film and toward digital flat-panel detector (FPD) technology, with more affordable solutions such as retrofit kits driving this migration in many cash-strapped regions," Sarah Jones, an analyst for medical electronics at IMS, said in an announcement. "Shipments of FPD and retrofit FPD systems accounted for an estimated 15 percent of annual general radiography shipments in 2012. That total is expected to rise to 25 percent in 2017."
Within radiology, IMS noted that mammography already is dominated by flat-panel detector full-field digital equipment, and that growth is lagging in emerging regions because few providers are able to purchase the costly equipment and demand for breast screening is low.
A growing trend toward minimally invasive surgery is boosting the market for interventional and mobile C-arm equipment. In addition, advanced digital technology and advanced navigation software is driving growth in mobile C-arm X-ray and growth in the interventional X-ray equipment market is being spurred by new installations of hybrid operating rooms.
Outside of radiology, veterinary X-ray is seeing a transition from existing analog systems to CR and FPD X-ray equipment. The dental market is still dominated by analog technology, according to IMS, but is seeing a shift to digital sensors and photo-stimulable imaging.
According to IMS, while challenging economic conditions have slowed demand and delayed purchasing decisions, they also have resulted in great opportunities for lower-cost digital solutions, such as retrofit FPD panels and kits. According to an article in AuntMinnieEurope.com, the FPD market accounted for 3 percent of general radiography X-ray unit ships in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in 2012, and is expected to increase to 5 percent by 2017.
IMS expects future growth in the X-ray equipment market will be driven by emerging markets like China, India, Latin American, as well as parts of Southeast Asia as FPD a preferred technology due to increased efficiency and image quality, and lower lifetime costs.