Medical imaging is a highly advanced technology sector in an already-advanced medical diagnostics market, comprising of everything from MRI and CT to X-Ray and Mammography equipment. With a new period of growth arising after a turbulent recession, the global diagnostic imaging industry is witnessing new innovations, investments, and spending by government springing up.
A 101-page report by Morgan Stanley titled Emerging Markets: Search for Growth, shows how analysts believe the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) will be the focus of Western med-tech companies’ investment, based on their demographics and drivers of healthcare reform. The advanced medical equipment market is projected to move upward as the BRIC nations continue to capitalize on the shifting market.
In fact, the medical imaging equipment market in Russia could grow nearly 65 percent over the next few years. The aging population, rising number of chronic diseases, and the need to replace obsolete equipment will predominantly fuel the demand for medical imaging services across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, a medical imaging research and consulting practice, finds that the market earned revenues of $1.42 billion in 2010 and estimates this to reach $2.34 billion in 2015. This research covers general X-ray, MRI, CT, ultrasound, molecular imaging, mammography, and PACS segments across Russia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania.
“The availability of EU funds for member states in the CEE, paralleled by governmental programs in Russia, will be an important source of financing for new equipment purchases and will contribute significantly to the development of the medical imaging market in CEE,” explains Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Dominika Grzywinska.
One Hurdle for Russia
Since affordability of medical imaging equipment in CEE countries and Russia is limited, it does pose a challenge, especially to private end-users. While private facilities typically focus on less costly imaging segments such as X-ray or ultrasound, they are striving to expand their presence into more costly imaging diagnostics. However, public healthcare facilities are the main purchasers of medical imaging equipment, particularly in expensive segments such as PET, MRI, or CT.
“Furthermore, private facilities are frequently interested in refurbished equipment since they are more concerned about ROI than public facilities,” adds Grzywinska. “Refurbished systems are in most demand for higher-priced modalities, such as MRI or CT. This situation is likely to limit the dynamics of medical imaging market growth in CEE countries and Russia.”
As sufficient financial resources can be an issue, alternative financing methods such as loans, leasing, and flexible payment installations offered by the medical imaging vendors could aid the market growth. Also the promotion and governmental support for public-private partnerships could also serve as a positive contribution.
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