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ECR 2023: Imaging industry roundup

by Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | March 15, 2023
Business Affairs European News X-Ray
Photo courtesy of: sLkphoto.at Kreuzberger Sebastian
By Bhvita Jani

ECR 2023 circled back to its favourable prepandemic timing of early March and, as expected, attendance increased by 14% compared to the 2022 summer edition. In total, there were 17,262 in-person attendees from 122 countries, however, attendance did not reach pre-pandemic levels of just over 23,000 attendees.

There was notable presence of new exhibitors on the show floor, such as Chinese vendor United Imaging, as well as an absence of conventional exhibitors, such as Shimadzu and Hologic. Speculation loomed that the disappointment in attendance, as well as the revised layout from ECR 2022, could have resulted in some reluctance from vendors to commit to taking up large booths, especially as economic headwinds continue to challenge the medical imaging market. Below, we outline some of the leading themes at the show identified by our analyst team.

Sustainability
The global healthcare market contributes 4% of total CO2 emissions, with imaging a substantial contributor. With healthcare providers increasingly concerned about the energy crisis and environmental sustainability, many medical imaging vendors focused their efforts on how best to decarbonise radiology. Heightened energy prices, and thereby operational costs for healthcare providers, resulted in modality vendors keen to showcase new sustainability features on imaging equipment. For example, energy saving modes on large new imaging modalities, when the systems are idle between examinations, could save up to 40% of energy consumption per scan compared to the existing fleet of installed systems. Moreover, new research initiatives were announced, including “metering” CT systems in the U.K., thereby better understanding real-world application and identifying where energy consumption could be improved.

Other themes included continued demonstrations of how healthcare providers can benefit from long-term value of their investments such as smart subscriptions, or lifetime value through long-term managed contracts, in which core system components may not require replacement. New MR technology at the show touted up to a 70% reduction in helium consumption, as well as a focus on ensuring the long-term viability of coils and reuse of MR magnets when providers upgrade to new systems. New manufacturing initiatives were also highlighted, with vendors keen to showcase green credentials in terms of production of equipment, in terms of design, materials and carbon footprint.

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