Imaging diagnostics market in Central Europe to grow by 14% between 2010 and 2012
Concerted effort during the crisis led to growth in 2009
Company interviews carried out by PMR specifically for the purposes of this report suggest that at a time of recession firms have been consistently seeking ways to pull through. They have had to stay focused and have worked closely with partners and distributors around the world, looking at each deal and focusing on what they could do to support and help out to obtain the purchase order. This pattern on the market allowed some growth in the year 2009, but nothing substantial. The companies offered a range of sale, lease, pay per procedure and financing arrangements to accommodate customer requirements. Equipment leasing allowed customers to save money and made the acquisition of new technologies possible.
Poland holds the most substantial share by value but not per capita
The largest market share is held by Poland, where approximately 33% of total sales are generated. Sales of imaging diagnostics devices in the Czech Republic generate about one-fifth of the total market, whereas Bulgaria accounts for only 6%.
“It is worthy of note that the market in Poland is worth so much chiefly because of its large population, rather than substantial per capita spending on such devices. In this aspect, Slovakia and the Czech Republic seem to be the most developed countries. The worst situation is found in Romania, where only €2,200 per 1,000 people was spent on imaging diagnostics equipment in 2009.” says Monika Stefanczyk, PMR’s Head Pharmaceutical Market Analyst and the report’s coordinator.
X-ray method still common in Central Europe
Photographic film-based systems are still prevalent in most of the Central European countries, as they have not been replaced completely by digital radiography, particularly in Bulgaria and Romania. In film-based systems, the high energy radiation essentially passes through anatomical structures to form images on the photographic film. Although functionally the same, digital X-ray differs only in the image acquisition function, in which a flat panel detector is used to convert X-rays into visual images. Digital radiography is expected to be one of the major drivers of the X-ray market in Eastern Europe between 2010 and 2012. Digital X-ray helps to improve efficiency, with digital transmission of electronic images, and also to increase patient throughput. The need for human operators is also eliminated, leading to obvious cost-saving advantages. Fluoroscopy tracks the movement of internal organs by converting the X-rays to light once they have penetrated the patient’s body. The images can then be viewed on the monitor in real time. Radiography is used for general diagnosis and the detection of injury and disease.
Diverse technological advances in ultrasound
Ultrasound consists of a transducer which transmits sound waves. These are reflected by anatomical structures. The echoes are transmitted back and electronically processed to appear as an image on the monitor. The major applications of ultrasound are obstetrics, abdominal ailments, gynaecology and urology. The capabilities, such as acquiring real-time images without ionising radiation, make ultrasound a very popular and patient-friendly modality. Abdominal ultrasound is most widely and effectively used in the detection of gall and kidney stones, along with the examination of the kidneys, liver and spleen. The ultrasound process has seen various technological advances. These include the development of Doppler systems and 3D and 4D imaging capabilities, which make better diagnosis possible.
CT: one of the emerging modalities
Computed Tomography (CT) is one of the emerging modalities on the Central European market. It typically consists of a series of X-ray tube detectors used to obtain a cross-sectional image of the body. The detectors revolve around the body to take readings from various angles, which are later reconstructed by the software programme. CT can be in single, dual, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 or 256 slices. The more slices, the better the image quality and the shorter the time taken to obtain an image. CT has a wide range of applications, including thoracic and cardiac imaging. However, certain issues have surfaced in the recent past about the disadvantages of CT, as it uses ionising radiation.
MRI: expensive modality in terms of equipment and scanning costs
Of the popularly used diagnostic imaging modalities, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) ranks next after nuclear imaging in the value chain. This means that MRI is the second most expensive modality after nuclear imaging in terms of equipment and scanning costs. MRI images the body in different planes by placing the patient in a powerful static magnetic field, which aligns the hydrogen atoms within the body. The technique evaluates the water content of the tissue structures, making them discernible. MRI systems are: open bore or standard. The high costs of MRI can be attributed to high infrastructure costs, maintenance fees and cost per procedure. The following are the obvious advantages of MRI:
- ability to detect tissues surrounded by bone, unlike other modalities further down the chain
- superior staging and detection of diseases of the CNS, along with those of the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems; efficient brain imaging
- improvement in signal-to-noise ratio, which reduces patient complaints of claustrophobia when undergoing an MRI procedure; does not use ionising radiation.
Nuclear imaging: large potential
Nuclear medicine is a relatively new modality in the Central European region. Nuclear medicine imaging systems can be divided into two subgroups: the gamma camera market and the PET scanner market. Radioisotopes are injected into the blood, and a gamma camera or a PET scanner is used to track the isotopes as they reach the target organ. The radioisotopes emit radiation which is detected by the imaging equipment. The potential of nuclear imaging for the provision of information on functional aspects makes it a very interesting area in which healthcare authorities can invest.
This press release is based on information contained in the latest PMR report entitled “Imaging diagnostics market in Central Europe 2010. Development forecasts for 2010-2012”.
PMR (www.pmrcorporate.com) is a British-American company providing market information, advice and services to international businesses interested in Central and Eastern European countries as well as other emerging markets. PMR's key areas of operation include business publications (through PMR Publications), consultancy (through PMR Consulting) and market research (through PMR Research). Being present on the market since 1995, employing highly skilled staff, offering high international standards in projects and publications, providing one of most frequently visited and top-ranked websites, PMR is one of the largest companies of its type in the region.
PMR Publications ul. Dekerta 24, 30-703 Krakow, Poland tel. /48/ 12 618 90 00, fax /48/ 12 618 90 08 www.pmrpublications.com
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