Report: Future holds room for both digital and traditional modalities
Don’t expect film x-ray and other “traditional” radiology systems to go extinct anytime too soon. According to a new report from Kalorama Information called Medical Imaging Markets, Volume 1: Radiography, digital x-ray systems, for example, currently still make up just 30 percent of the worldwide radiography market.

However, though both types of systems will continue to exist, the digital market is booming and by 2010 digital radiographic equipment including x-ray and mammography is likely to experience double-digit growth in the United States.

Looking at global markets overall there is other grown, such as revenues from CT equipment that are expected to show strong growth to $3.6 billion by 2010. Additionally, system upgrades and continued placement of CT and mammography systems in the developed world as well as traditional systems in the developing world will push the world market for x-ray equipment to nearly $6 billion, according to the report.
While there are obvious advantages in many cases to digital imaging, the report states, such modalities will not completely eliminate the need for film-based systems, particularly in developing countries and for specific conditions. However, due to PACS and other health IT system adoption continue the switch to digital will accelerate.

"In many circumstances, traditional x-rays could remain the preferred method of imaging, for example, in orthopedics where actual bone measurements aid in the proper placement of surgical implants," the report states. "Digital will also continue to be cost prohibitive in many parts of the world, keeping it from becoming the primary worldwide mode of medical imaging for quite some time."

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