Global DR market to reach $844.2 M by 2010
Driven by the digitalization of radiology departments, the need for higher resolution diagnostic images and the widespread proliferation of PACS in hospitals, the world market for digital radiography (DR) is projected to reach $844.2 million by the year 2010, according to Global Industry Analysts, a market research firm.

The double-digit rise in the average number of radiology procedures performed by hospitals coupled with massive increases in volume of images-per-procedure, offer a lucrative business case for DR, GIA reported.

The firm noted that primary forces driving market acceptance and penetration of the DR technology include the compelling advantages offered in the form of a 50 to 85 percent reduction in patent exposure to radiation, increased patient throughputs, flexibility in image manipulation, accurate image capture and better medical evaluations.

Continuous technology developments and refinements in digital imaging advantages offered are resulting in the launch of newer, more compact and powerful equipment models, which is expected to drive demand and encourage widespread adoption. GIA said that a noteworthy trend in product development is the future proofing of DR equipment to allay fears of obsolescence, and allow for future upgrades, given the technology's high cost of capital investments, the report said.

With more than 75 percent of all imaging being related to general radiography, GIA said that DR is expected to stumble across numerous opportunities in the future as the cost of PACS and its widespread implementation decreases, making it an attractive investment for hospitals with PACS which want to migrate to a DR environment.

The world DR market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.88 percent from 2011 through 2015, as deployment of DR systems trickle down to smaller hospitals with 200 to 300 patient beds, GIA reported.

In terms of unit sales, DR systems in Europe are forecast to reach 393 units by the year 2012. The United States, Japan and Europe are the leading DR markets, cornering a combined share of over 82 percent of the dollar market value estimated in the year 2008. Eastern Europe offers strong growth potential with spurts of economic growth in these countries encouraging investments in DR systems as a replacement to obsolete medical imaging infrastructure, according to the market research firm.