CT Market Continues to Grow
Computed tomography (CT) can be described as an imaging procedure that uses special X-ray equipment to create detailed scans of areas inside the body. It is also called computerized tomography and computerized axial tomography (CAT).
“The term tomography comes from the Greek words tomos (a cut, a slice, or a section) and graphein (to write or record). Each picture created during a CT procedure shows the organs, bones, and other tissues in a thin ‘slice’ of the body,” according to the National Cancer Institute website. “The entire series of pictures produced in CT is like a loaf of sliced bread – you can look at each slice individually (2-dimensional pictures), or you can look at the whole loaf (a 3-dimensional picture). Computer programs are used to create both types of pictures.”
“Most modern CT machines take continuous pictures in a helical (or spiral) fashion rather than taking a series of pictures of individual slices of the body, as the original CT machines did,” according to the website. “Helical CT has several advantages over older CT techniques: it is faster, produces better 3-D pictures of areas inside the body, and may detect small abnormalities better. The newest CT scanners, called multislice CT or multidetector CT scanners, allow more slices to be imaged in a shorter period of time.”
CT is widely used to help diagnose cancer as well as circulatory system diseases and conditions, such as atherosclerosis, blood vessel aneurysms, and blood clots; spinal conditions; kidney and bladder stones; abscesses; inflammatory diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and sinusitis; and injuries to the head, skeletal system, and internal organs. CT can be a life-saving tool for diagnosing illness and injury in children and adults.
Driven by supply-side initiatives to improve workflow, enhance image quality and reduce patient discomfort, the global computed tomography (CT) market is expected to increase to $5.9 billion by 2019, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7 percent, according to business intelligence provider GBI Research.
The GBI Research report states that, combined, only four companies accounted for more than 75 percent of the CT market in recent years. These were GE Healthcare, Siemens Healthcare, Toshiba Medical Systems Corp. and Philips Healthcare.
According to GBI Research, these top firms are focusing on expanding their manufacturing facilities into developing countries such as India and China in order to increase revenue.
“Companies such as Siemens Healthcare and GE Healthcare have set up manufacturing facilities not only to meet domestic demand, but also to export CT equipment to developed countries,” states Rashmi Nishtala, GBI Resarch’s Analyst covering Medical Devices. “This move is expected to significantly reduce the operating costs of these firms, which will have a cascading effect on improving profit margins.”
Technological advances, such as lower imaging time and radiation dose, are also expected to drive future CT market growth.
However, cost-cutting measures and limited reimbursement rates will hinder the CT market.