Information technology, diagnostic imaging

Digitisation of hospitals driving demand for medical imaging displays and cheaper alternatives

27 Sept 2006

London, UK. The market for medical imaging displays is experiencing a dynamic shift. Digitisation initiatives are creating opportunities and challenges across Europe, as data and image sharing across hospital departments and regions becomes an established driver of efficiency. Medical imaging displays, as an integral part of the digital set-up, are facing the demands of increased volumes of image transfer.

Frost & Sullivan finds that the Medical Imaging Display Markets in Europe earned revenues of US$110.2 million in 2005 and estimates this to reach US$289.4 million in 2012.

"As medical imaging evolves beyond the radiology department, a wider variety of end-users are demanding to view patient examinations," notes Frost & Sullivan Team Leader Martin Bryant. "To view these images, a greater number of medical displays need to be installed, contributing to market growth and leading to a significant increase in revenues."

Diagnosis by a radiologist is no longer the sole purpose of a medical image. Digitised hospitals linked to picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) have democratised imaging, enabling the use of images for referral, patient consultation, and surgical planning. With displays being necessary for physical viewing of these images, demand for them is likely to witness a sharp increase, in line with a wider portfolio of image users.

While the market is witnessing enhanced demand for a wider network of displays, the need for cost savings is gaining momentum. To this end, several hospitals are seeking commodity displays for referral purposes. Further, the lack of concrete, Europe-wide guidelines is encouraging the adoption of this attitude.

"Financially constrained customers are increasingly seeking justification for installing non-medical grade displays for secondary or tertiary reading", remarks Mr. Bryant. "This presents cost savings for end-users but poses a significant threat to the business of market participants."

Promoting awareness of both, the clinical and long-term financial benefits that can be gained from the use of medical grade displays, is crucial for companies desiring sustainable market success. While the surge in demand for medical imaging displays is driven by hospital digitisation, the end-user tendency to opt for less expensive, lower specification commodity displays is a major impediment. Resolving this issue will be critical in determining future market trajectory.

Medical grade displays fitted with auto-calibration software and remote performance monitoring will provide long-term image viewing of the highest quality for efficient diagnosis and referral. Vendors seeking to capitalise on the need for a greater range of displays, will need to invest resources in promoting the above to successfully differentiate medial displays from those in the commodity category.


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