Market Analysis: Three Factors Spark DR Market Growth

Digital radiography is described as a form of X-ray imaging, where digital X-ray sensors are used instead of traditional film. Some advantages of DR include time efficiency and the capability of digital transfer. Another plus, is the use of less radiation to produce quality images.

The DR market is expected to see continued growth because of its advantages over using film, but also because of a reduction in reimbursements for traditional X-rays. According to CMS, reimbursements for film X-rays will be cut by 20 percent in the coming year. Also, the reimbursement for computed radiography (CR) will decrease by 7 percent starting in 2018.

According to a February 2016 market research report published by MarketsandMarkets, the global digital X-ray market is expected to reach $10.46 billion by 2020.

Technavio, a technology research and advisory company, recently reported on the global digital X-ray systems market and trends expected to impact the market through 2020.

“The global digital X-ray systems market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 13 percent during the forecast period,” Barath Palada, a lead analyst from Technavio, says. “This is owing to various factors such as increasing incidence of diseases along with the advantages of digital X-ray systems. Digital X-ray systems offer benefits such as improved image quality, less processing speed, and reduced radiation dosage all of which help drive the growth of the market.”

The top three emerging trends driving the global digital X-ray systems market, according to Technavio healthcare and life sciences research analysts are a reduction in reimbursements for film-based X-rays and CR, new product launches coupled with technological advances, and the emergence of portable digital X-ray systems.

The market has witnessed a reduction in reimbursements for film-based X-rays and computed radiography (CR), which will fuel the market for digital X-ray systems. This is a clear indication to incentivize the transition from traditional X-ray imaging to digital X-ray systems. With such acts in the market, the vendors are seeking to adopt digital X-ray systems to gain cost advantages.

The new products featuring advanced technologies will substantially drive the market. The advances in technology of radiographic systems used in routine examinations (chest, neck/spine, and limbs), specialty services (dental and mammography), and emergency services (ICU, neonatal ICU, and hospital wards) have resulted in the development of new radiation sources and technologies by using neutrons and X-rays. The advance to digital X-rays has led to the development of many applications and radiation-based imaging techniques. The introduction of flat panel CR in X-ray machines has increased their efficiency and imaging quality. Digital imaging has revolutionized the imaging industry by replacing conventional film-based radiography that uses X-rays/neutrons. Images can be stored in electronic format, which can then be enhanced to achieve optimum results. In addition, reducing the radiation dose and using high-sensitivity plates enhances the sharpness and resolution of the images.

The vendors in the market are launching new software that is compatible with the existing digital X-ray systems. Such new product launches enable vendors to generate substantial revenue and thereby boost market growth.

The market is witnessing a growing use of portable digital X-ray systems owing to its advantages such as low weight, easy mobility, and easy operability. The portable X-ray systems circumvent the need of a technician to develop the X-ray, or physically transport it from one location to another.

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