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COVID-19’s impact on the mammography market

July 10, 2020
Women's Health
From the July 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

By Kaitlyn Wilkie

In December 2019, the World Health Organization was alerted to a novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China.
The virus quickly spread, with confirmed cases in nearly every country. The first confirmed cases in the United States were reported in January. The Centers for Disease Control reported few confirmed cases throughout January and February, but March and April showed an exponential growth of cases, forcing communities to shut down to slow the rate of infections entering the healthcare system for treatment. Hospitals in hot spots funneled all resources into combating the virus, and those hospitals yet to be affected drastically changed budgets and purchasing habits in preparation. Hospitals and governments scrambled to find the additional equipment needed for treating patients and to protect hospital workers with little regard to how much it would cost, taking funds from any department that had funds available.

Hospitals have moved mammography system and upgrade purchases to the “back burner” as they shift resources to combat COVID-19. TractManager saw client interest for women’s health equipment decrease by nearly half in March 2020, as compared to activity in prior months. Activity has yet to increase since this significant drop, remaining steady into May. Most hospitals currently looking into this equipment are not expecting to purchase anytime soon, but they do want to be prepared to make a quick purchase when and if funds become available later in 2020. Of the hospitals that are preparing for future mammography purchases, most are larger organizations that have a better chance at surviving the decrease in revenue from elective procedures than do smaller hospitals. Based on 2018 and 2019 data, without the pandemic we would have expected to see an increase in activity for this technology in March, with peak activity occurring throughout Q2.

TractManager has not had any activity for 2D systems in the last 12 months, as hospitals have shifted to using 3D systems with 2D synthesizing software or have upgraded their 2D systems to 3D. For tomosynthesis systems, Hologic remains the market leader throughout this crisis. However, Hologic dropped from 89% to 77% in quote activity since Q1 2020 based on TractManager data. Activity for GE Healthcare, Siemens Healthineers, and Fujifilm has remained relatively steady. This significant decrease for Hologic is due to decreased demand for this technology. Other women’s health technologies are experiencing the same decrease in interest as mammography.

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