By Amy Thompson
The global imaging IT market has recovered swiftly from the slight downturn experienced in 2020. A second, strong performing year in the advanced visualisation IT market was due to healthcare providers' continued investment in modality and tools that aided COVID-19 care delivery, the main driver underlying this performance.
However, following unprecedentedly robust market performances, the impact of supply chain issues, production delays and increased component costs on imaging modality sales channels for AV from vendors such as GE Healthcare, Philips and Siemens Healthineers, will have a negative impact on market performance near-term, causing a softer AV IT market in 2022, with “normal” low-single digital growth expected to return in 2023.
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Investment and deals have also returned in radiology and cardiology IT, although deal volume is yet to match pre-pandemic levels. In many instances, vendors reported opportunities for add-on sales such as image exchange, universal viewers, operational workflow and BI tools, offsetting the shortfall in larger enterprise imaging platform deals.
Short-term, vendors are “gearing up”, hoping to capitalise on the atypical spending expected across mature markets in 2022-2024. This predicted surge will be driven by multiple variables: pent-up demand, government injecting funding into healthcare to drive digitalisation and support providers in managing the extensive procedural backlog caused by the pandemic, as well as growth in market segments such as outpatient and ambulatory care.
Across emerging markets, the outlook is mixed, with intensifying risk. Presidential elections across Latin America will create near-term uncertainty on healthcare investment and priorities. The regional effect of the Ukraine and Russia war across Eastern European markets is also unclear, though severe market contraction and impeded economic activity for several years is the most likely scenario. However, the Middle East and Africa offer growth, with investment and digitalisation observed across the Gulf region and South Africa, while key national tenders are planned in Saudi Arabia for 2022.