Market Analysis: Point-Of-Care Imaging

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Point-Of-Care Imaging Market Growing.

Technology continually takes health care to new heights and that is certainly the case with diagnostic imaging. The ability to see inside the human body has come a very long way since the first X-ray was taken. Numerous modalities help doctors fix broken bones, ensure a safe pregnancy, fight cancer and more.

The discovery of new ways to see inside the body is impressive, but advances in the equipment are just as stunning with smaller devices, faster exams times and more cost-effective solutions. Point-of-care imaging is a combination of advances that is having a positive impact on patient care, quality outcomes and patient satisfaction.

A column written by Kamran Zamanian, Ph.D., CEO, and Lucas Parker, senior research analyst, iData Research Inc., examine the growth of point-of-care imaging and the impact it is having on a growing market.

“Point-of-care (POC) applications represented the fastest growing segment of the ultrasound equipment market in 2014, and will continue to outstrip other segments over the next decade,” the duo write in Med Device online.

“The POC ultrasound equipment market comprises a large number of subsegments corresponding to different medical service delivery sites. Examples include emergency department, critical care, anesthesiology and musculoskeletal applications,” they add. “These areas of medical service delivery have not traditionally relied on ultrasound for their diagnostic evaluations. However, due to technological improvements and reductions in the cost of ultrasound equipment, these areas are rapidly adopting ultrasound as a tool for diagnostic and guidance procedures.”

The authors expect growth in this market as technology continues to advance.

“The U.S. market for POC ultrasound systems was not saturated in 2014. There are many health care facilities that do not own POC ultrasound systems, and those that do are likely to purchase additional units in the future. Additional units are especially useful in hospital emergency rooms where multiple patients require treatment simultaneously,” they wrote.

The research firm Markets and Markets predicts healthy growth in the overall ultrasound market through 2020 and includes POC imaging as a factor powering the growth.

“The global ultrasound market is expected to reach $6.86 billion by 2020 from $5.25 billion in 2015, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 5.5 percent from 2015 to 2020, according to MarketsandMarkets.

Frost & Sullivan also sees POC imaging as a market booster. Analysis from Frost & Sullivan, “Assessing Ultrasound’s Market Potential within Emerging Clinical Points of Care” (www.frost.com/mb31), finds that the market earned $3.66 billion in 2014, with emerging clinical segments accounting for 21.8 percent of total revenues.

“Greater awareness of the harmful effects of radiation exposure in other imaging modalities, and the ability to provide additional care at the patient site, are driving the market for point-of care ultrasonography,” said Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Research Analyst Srikanth Kompalli. “This trend is causing emerging clinical segments to outstrip the established ones such as radiology, cardiology and obstetrics and gynaecology (OB/GYN) in North America, Latin America and Western Europe.”

To interest end users across a wide range of applications, ultrasound manufacturers are producing more mobile systems with real-time imaging, volume imaging, and 3D and 4D transducers. These functionalities will address the diagnostic and image guidance needs of interventional procedures. Going forward, ultrasound is expected to find substantial adoption in dermatology, breast imaging and therapeutic applications.

“With improving functionality, performance and affordability, advanced, portable systems will stoke the adoption of ultrasound systems in emerging clinical points of care,” concluded Kompalli. “In fact, the uptake of portable and ultra-portable ultrasound systems is expected to exceed that of cart-based ultrasound systems by 2019, as demand grows in clinical segments such as emergency care, anaesthesia and pain management, musculoskeletal applications, primary care, OB/GYN and general imaging radiology.”

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