IMV: DR use rises; procedures grow while installed units drop

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Banner Health Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City West, Ariz., recently installed its first DR unit in its emergency room.
Image Source: Banner Health

X-ray volume has grown by an average of 5.5 percent per year since 2005, despite a 1 percent yearly decline in the number of x-ray systems installed across the U.S., according to a Feb. 10 report published by market research and consulting firm IMV.

The report estimated that the number of x-ray procedures performed in U.S. medical facilities grew from 140 million in 2005 to 183 million in 2010. At the same time, the number of x-ray units installed in hospitals fell from 16,510 to 15,900.

The "2010 X-ray/DR/CR Market Outlook Report" estimated x-ray volume and installs based on survey results from 362 radiology administrators and managers working principally at short-term general hospitals.

The figures were projected for x-ray usage in radiology and non-radiology departments, with main radiology departments accounting for 183 million procedures and non-radiology and outpatient facilities performing approximately 68 million procedures.

The report also found that only 4 percent of fixed x-ray systems remain traditional film-only; in 2005 this proportion was one-third. CR accounts for 70 percent of systems, and 25 percent of units are either fully or partially DR. Half of respondents reported plans to purchase CR or DR systems by 2013, while 16 percent of hospitals are planning to retire older systems.

According to the report, 44 percent of exams performed by central radiology departments were chest studies, while 17 percent were abdomen/pelvis exams, 15 percent extremity and 13 percent spine. The report estimated that radiology departments own or manage a total of 12,770 portable x-ray systems, averaging three portable units per hospital.

IMV Medical Information Division, which is located in Des Plaines, Ill., specializes in market research and consulting for medical imaging.