Despite challenges, European MRI market to top $1 billion by 2013

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The European market for MRI is expected to see growth — and reach $1.03 billion in 2013 from the $806.5 million seen in 2006 — despite troubles such as increased pricing pressures, regulatory issues and competition from CT, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan.

“The European MRI systems market is primarily driven by the current wide variety of applications and constant development of new ones,” said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Divya B. “With continued upgrades in Tesla strength, the number of applications using MRI is increasing from the research point of view and is also becoming increasingly commercially viable.”

The market is seeing growth due to increased tools in neurological, cardiac and vascular, as well as breast MRI applications, with each new clinical application increasing MRI usage. Also, high field systems are expected to continue demonstrating strong growth as a replacement for current low field systems in use.

Despite these positive points, the market growth is hindered by factors in the European market, such as unchallenged and differing reimbursement policies, as well as competition from CT.

“The European healthcare industry is experiencing severe financial constraints from having to support an aging population, with contributions from a small portion of working population,” said Divya. “Consequently, the governments of various nations are wary of the fact that healthcare spending is exceedingly high and one of the interesting ways in which nations are reducing healthcare costs is by simply not buying additional equipment.”

Frost & Sullivan suggests that market participants concentrate their efforts on niche segments through acquisitions or via new product introductions.