by Brendon Nafziger
, DOTmed News Associate Editor
Hybrid operating rooms — rooms which combine a catheterization lab with a surgical suite — are rare in Europe, but that might change over the next five years, according to a new Frost & Sullivan report.
The market research firm said European hospitals that handle many cardiovascular and neurological cases will likely open at least one hybrid OR in the next five years.
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The idea for hybrid ORs dates to the 1990s, but the rooms didn't really start catching on until 2008, Frost & Sullivan said in the report, "Operating Rooms of the Future: A European Perspective." The biggest obstacle to adoption was cost. In a press release, Frost & Sullivan said the price tag ranges from $3 million to $6 million, and in Europe installation costs for an empty site start at $4 million.
"There are few hybrid ORs in Europe, but some industry experts point out that 96 per cent of even these are just catheterization laboratories with examining tables, not real operating theaters," the company said in the report.
Still, demand for hybrid OR Imaging systems is growing faster than demand for conventional systems. Hybrid OR imaging demand grew 17 percent per year in 2008 and 2009, while conventional surgical imaging systems only increased 1 percent, the firm said.
A KLAS study from earlier this month found that, for a third year in a row, Toshiba scored top marks for hybrid imaging equipment. However, the Orem, Utah-based group noted that only two of the customers participating in its survey used Toshiba's Infinix-I interventional X-ray device in their hybrid OR.
“Currently, providers who are using a hybrid OR are early adopters,” JKLAS analyst Kirk Ising said in a statement.