European markets for cardiac catheterisation imaging systems

With a sharp increase in the incidence of cardiovascular disorders and mortalities in Europe, the need for early detection as well as cardiac interventional procedures has created enhanced scope for the uptake of cardiac catheterisation imaging systems.

Initiatives by healthcare authorities to revamp cardiac catheterisation labs are also likely to encourage the replacement of analog image intensifier systems with flat-panel digital ones, thereby stimulating market growth.

“Greater focus on the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac disorders is leading to increased interventional procedures, thereby creating the need for sophisticated cardiac imaging systems”, states Ms. Srividya Badrinarayanan, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Moreover, the trend of replacement of analog image intensifier by flat panel systems which offer improved image quality is reviving the market.”

The growing awareness of cardiovascular disorders (CVD) has led to a rise in the number of diagnostic procedures, thereby resulting in a spurt in interventional cardiac catheterisation procedures. A growing focus on efficient and non-invasive techniques of diagnostic cardiology such as computed tomography angiography (CTA) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) has also resulted in the augmented use of cardiovascular X-rays in catheterisation procedures.

Accordingly, revenues in the European cardiac catheterisation imaging systems market are anticipated to reach $196.6 million by 2009 from an estimated $144.1 million in 2004. The single plane cardiovascular imaging systems segment will continue dominating the overall market. At the same time, the biplane systems segment is also likely to boost market revenues.

However, while digital flat panel systems will enhance the efficiency of cardiac catheterisation labs in providing high-quality care and reducing waiting lists, their price will impose restraints on market growth. “The acceptance of digital systems has been hampered by the significant price difference that exists between analog and digital systems”, explains Ms. Badrinarayanan. “In addition, the total market has been affected by constant price erosion.”

Despite the decline in prices, cardiac catheterisation imaging systems still remain unaffordable to many healthcare institutions and imaging centres. Thus, justifying equipment price (particularly for new technology equipment) will become essential to prevent healthcare institutions from opting for refurbished equipment.

Presently, countries such as the United Kingdom are offering cardiac catheterisation procedures in out-patient facilities (mobile imaging facilities) due to long waiting lists. In keeping with this trend, industry stakeholders will gain by focussing on the marketing, development and promotion of such facilities.

Currently, the market has almost reached saturation with limited equipment being added each year at new sites. Hence, long-term growth potential will depend on efforts to innovate new, pioneering and cost-effective technologies to maintain the product cycle.

“Despite the market being mature, all market participants are increasingly investing in new technologies to revitalise the market”, remarks Ms. Badrinarayanan. “Hence, the time-to-market factor will be crucial in planning the introduction of any new technology.”

Ensuring the compatibility of cardiac imaging equipment with existing IT solutions in hospitals will also prove vital for easy integration. As a result, sustaining product demand will depend on including a digital workflow to optimise the cardiology data management system (CDMS).

Forging new partnerships to bundle their products and offer customers better products and services from the same company will also be advantageous to manufacturers. For instance, by striking alliances with smaller companies that manufacture systems such as electrophysiology (EP) recorders, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can offer customers a package of both the products, to gain a competitive edge in the market.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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