Handheld ultrasounds to drive market growth
by Brendon Nafziger
, DOTmed News Associate Editor | January 21, 2011
The global ultrasound market could hit $5.6 billion 2015, partly driven by the boom in handheld ultrasound units and by buyers favoring this relatively cheaper modality, according to a marketing firm's predictions.
San Jose, Calif.-based Global Industry Analysts, Inc. said Thursday ultrasound sales will be buoyed by the rise of point-of-care imaging and the popularity of handheld units such as the V-scan, a 1-pound, cell phone-sized scanner launched by General Electric Co. last year.
GE said it has sold about 1,000 Vscan units worldwide, according to reports. The units go for about $10,000 a piece.
Growth will also be driven by demographic trends, such as America's aging population. According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, people 65 and older made up about 13 percent of the population in 2009, but will grow to 19 percent in the next twenty years.
Ultrasound struggled with the rest of the imaging market during the financial crisis. Sales plunged two years ago, GIA said, though the modality fared better than its more expensive cousins, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging equipment, GIA said.
Increased competition among manufacturers and other financial pressures will drive down prices for cart-based models, the firm said.
In the developed world, most sales will be replacements. But the developing world will see fast growth. The Latin American market will show a strong 5.2 percent compound annual growth rate from 2007-2015, the firm said.
The biggest chunk of the ultrasound market is radiologists, although vascular applications are also picking up 2.9 percent CAGR over the period covered by the report, GIA said.
The study, "Medical Ultrasound Equipment: A Global Strategic Business Report," is available now.