by Brendon Nafziger
, DOTmed News Associate Editor | February 06, 2012
China's X-ray market could hit $1.3 billion by 2016, as rural clinics and county hospitals swap out their old analogue systems for digital ones under pressure from government-driven reforms, according to a new market research report teaser.
Overall, China's X-ray market should expand at a compound annual growth rate of 9.5 percent, InMedica said in its new report, announced Monday. However, the benefits won't be enjoyed equally. During the same period, shipments of film-based systems will decline at a CAGR of about 14 percent, the report said.
China's ambitious health care reform program began in 2009 with an effort to improve health care coverage of the country's poorer, rural communities. Part of the reforms involved helping providers in the countryside buy new equipment.
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According to the report, rural clinics and hospitals, required to provide more basic medical services to the populace, will now upgrade their X-ray systems. As a result, they will go digital: moving from analogue systems to either computed radiography or direct radiography systems.
However, large urban hospitals will be mostly buying foreign-made, flat-panel DR systems to increase their throughput and, thus, their revenues, an analyst with InMedica said.
"This type of hospital already uses digital radiography X-ray equipment; almost all new systems purchased by these hospitals will be high-specification, flat panel detector-based DR X-ray", Owen Tang, an InMedica analyst in Shanghai, said in a statement.
According to InMedica, these hospitals closely watch their patient volumes, and once a hospital is running a DR system at maximum efficiency, or scanning about 100 patients a day, it'll buy another system.
"Unlike other kinds of X-ray equipment, such as mammography and fluoroscopy X-ray, DR equipment can help hospitals increase their revenue stream based on their more frequent use," Owen said.
InMedica is the medical research arm of IMS Research, headquartered in Wellingborough, England.