From the July 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
By Krys Lee
The rise in breast cancer and other diseases specific to women are major factors driving the growth of purchases in the OB/GYN market.
Ultrasound, in particular, plays a large role in women’s health: Clinicians rely on imaging using ultrasound — a minimally invasive solution — for diagnosis, treatment, and preventative screening measures. Ultrasound exams can be performed real-time, have no radiation risks, and are widely accepted by patients.
Markets and Markets reports that the global ultrasound market was estimated at $6.7 billion USD in 2021 and is projected to grow at a 6.3% CAGR rate from 2021 to 2026. Fortune Business Insights reports that Asia-Pacific and other global markets are spending more to develop healthcare infrastructures, and North America (the leader in the ultrasound device industry) continues to adopt the use of advanced diagnostic equipment fueling the growth.
However, for many healthcare facilities in the U.S., the ability to replace and upgrade aging systems depends on reimbursement levels the CMS sets for purchasing high-end systems. As a result, a reduction in Medicare spending by $716 billion from 2012 to 2022 may have had a negative impact for cash flow for healthcare purchases. symplr’s data requests clearly indicate tighter capital budgets and, with pressure to reduce medical capital spending, this has led to an increase in preference for refurbished and demo ultrasound equipment. Purchasing refurbished or demo systems can reduce the cost of ultrasound equipment purchases by 40 – 70%, based on activity seen by our clients, thus posing a challenge to the market growth.
Ultrasound is the standard in fetal and reproductive imaging and OB/GYN (i.e., imaging of women and fetuses pre, ante, and postpartum for obstetrics; and imaging the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and surrounding structures in gynecology). Transducers, or probes, for OB/GYN are generally transabdominal and endovaginal. Systems with AI volume rendering, fetal biometry assistance, 3D, and 4D imaging with HD — as well as improvements in spatial and beam resolution — has led to North America’s domination in the OB/GYN ultrasound systems market. Such new technology enables healthcare providers to perform exams with decreased exam times, improved accuracy, and better guidance, and can automate assessments into generated worksheets for interpretation. This leads to better patient outcomes and will continue to contribute to growth in this market.