8 global ultrasound markets poised for strong 2018

The global ultrasound market is poised for a strong 2018 due in part to the expanded use of the imaging modality across medical specialties, along with projected growth in most major markets.

Findings were published by Signify Research, an independent supplier of market intelligence to the global healthcare technology industry.

The survey found all major geographic markets—including Europe, Americas and Asia—are forecast to grow faster than in 2017, pushing the global growth rate to 5.1 percent in 2018, up from 3.2 percent last year.

Market drivers were broken into eight geographic regions. The highlights are listed below:

1. United States

Reduced government spending coupled with delayed purchasing in the private sector contributed to a stagnant 2017. But, as it became clear the Trump administration didn’t have the support to repeal the Affordable Care Act, purchasing picked up toward the end of the year and is expected to continue into 2018.

Highest growth is forecast for radiology, which was also was the weakest of the traditional markets (radiology, cardiology and OB/GYN) last year, according to the study. However, the ultrasound market is expected to outpace them all.

“The US point-of-contact (POC) ultrasound market is forecast to grow by around 4 to 5 percent in 2018. The more widespread availability of ultra-portable handhelds is expected to provide a boost to the POC market, particularly for the emergency medicine segment,” wrote Simon Harris, the principal analyst of the report with Signify Research Limited.

2. India

“The Indian ultrasound market is forecast to grow at a double-digit rate in 2018, buoyed by the government’s efforts to expand healthcare coverage, increasing private sector spending on healthcare and a growing medical tourism industry,” Harris wrote in the analysis.

Government spending on healthcare has also upped its allotted spending by 22 percent. As India’s population continues to surge the long-term ultrasound market seems promising.

3. Latin America

A weak Brazilian market hindered the growth of ultrasound in the region, and although the market rebounded last year, many hurdles remain for continued growth in 2018.

“The Brazilian ultrasound market rebounded strongly in 2017 and the market recovery is forecast to continue into 2018,” authors wrote. “Although the outlook for the Brazilian ultrasound market is more optimistic than in recent years, be prepared for volatility,” according to Harris.

4. Western Europe

Study authors note that this region’s economy is projected to grow rapidly this year, but the ultrasound market is forecasted for little growth.

“As was the case for the U.S., higher growth is forecast for the POC ultrasound market than the traditional markets. The POC market is forecast to grow slightly faster than in the US, as the European market is less developed with more room for growth,” Harris wrote.

5. Eastern Europe

In this region, growth in the ultrasound will depend largely on Russia. Last year saw double-digit declines, but increased government spending will drive that back up.

“With reduced levels of EU investment for healthcare projects, the market is expected to grow slower than in previous years, albeit at a slighter faster rate than the Western European market,” Harris wrote in the analysis.

6. Middle East

Recent years have witnessed large spending cuts in healthcare for this region, but Turkey and its government, although unstable, have led an initiative to reform its healthcare system, and thus are pumping massive investments into the sector.

“Political and social instability remain a serious threat to the longer-term growth prospects of the Turkish market and 2018 is expected to be the peak year for growth in the ultrasound market,” Harris wrote.

7. Africa

“Consistent economic growth, increased urbanization, a growing middle class and massive population growth will drive demand for ultrasound equipment in Africa. The market is forecast to grow at a high single-digit rate in 2018. The increasing availability of value ultrasound systems with improved image quality is fueling growth in the African market,” Harris wrote.

8. China

“Sustained investment in healthcare reform and an expanding private healthcare sector are expected to drive high single-digit growth for the ultrasound market,” Harris wrote.

Authors also note that the change in single child policy will likely be a cause of growth in the women’s health area.