Study: European womens imaging market to hit $647 million by 2013
The European women’s healthcare imaging market, including mammography systems and bone densitometry systems, saw revenues of $455 million last year but estimates show that the market will likely reach $647.1 million in 2013, according to new research from Frost & Sullivan.

This growth is being seen despite obstacles such as reimbursement policies, higher prices and intensified competition. This is because of an aging women’s population in Europe that require more diagnostic images, and facilities that are in the process of replacing their current systems. However, Frost & Sullivan believes that for the market to continue this growth it will need to continue introducing innovative and bundled product offerings.

“Rapid market growth is occurring because of the increasing population of the elderly across Europe, even as replacement-driven demand is projected to increase in the near future,” said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Divya B. “The entry of new and innovative technologies will also promote market expansion in the near term.”

The mammography systems market is seeing growth primarily due to a growing reliance of digital mammography and an overall move to digital in Europe. The bone densitometry systems market will experience low but stable revenue growth, the research group said.

At the same time, however, the high costs of digital mammography systems and axial DEXA bone densitometry systems will deter market expansion. Also, intense competition in the mammography systems market will hinder market growth. Making matters more complicated are various country-specific reimbursement regulations.

“As the bone densitometry market in Europe matures, low and/or non-existent reimbursement will have a greater effect,” said Divya. “Also, due to the increased costs of adopting digital technology including the purchase of CAD, PACS systems in the mammography systems market might prove to be a constraint initially, but in the long-term, will reflect the inevitable transition to digital.”

Frost & Sullivan recommends that vendors form strategic alliances with smaller firms and introduce financing and flexible leasing options to help spur equipment purchases.

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