Screening programs boost EU digital mammo market to $346M in 2014

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Mammography screening programs for breast cancer detection are responsible for driving the European mammography system market, leading to the increased installation of mammography systems, according to new analysis from market research firm Frost & Sullivan.

In the diagnostic market, the more advantageous and efficient prone biopsy units are showing more potential for growth, because of their enhanced ability to provide biopsy guidance. Moreover, prone biopsy units offer a cost advantage over add-on upright systems, according to the firm.

Frost & Sullivan's report found that the European market earned revenues of $219 million in 2007 and estimates this to reach $346 million in 2014. Their research examined the following market segments: full-field digital mammography, analog mammography systems, diagnostic mammography systems and CR.

"The implementation of mobile screening units will generate more awareness in distant places," noted Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Smruti Munshi. "With an increase in mobile solutions, mobile screening will penetrate rural communities and improve their access to screening. Telemammography will enable the transmission of digital mammograms from one location to another for expert consultation."

The installation of mammography systems at remote sites has been an issue and conducting screening programmes at these distant locations will be a very important driver for the mammography market, according to the report.

However, the delayed implementation of screening programs and certain government policies are retarding the growth of digital mammography systems. Budgetary constraints, paralleled by socio-economic factors, are mainly responsible for these delays. The report noted that this "severely affects the prospects of the mammography market as it postpones the installation of mammography systems."

In addition, in certain countries, digital mammography systems are still not encouraged as government policies demand film reading, which has led to a drop in the growth of digital screening in the public healthcare sector. This has affected, in turn, the overall mammography systems market in Europe, Munshi noted.

As breast-screening programmes are very important to increase the installation of mammography systems market and promote market growth, major industry participants should lobby regional governments and the European Union Parliament to spread more awareness of this disease.

"Mammography vendors should lobby governments of individual countries, where screening is yet to be implemented," Munshi said. "Germany has already experienced high sales because of many successful screening programmes that were implemented. For the overall market to expand, screening needs to be strongly encouraged across Europe."

Reimbursements are also very vital for market expansion. Lobbying should aim at promoting the reimbursement of the treatment rather than the diagnostic tool. Joint efforts with various advocacy groups such as women's rights groups and cancer therapy groups will be vital for market advancement.