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Electronics Production | October 04, 2006

European C-Arms market boosted by FPD

The need to replace existing image intensifier based systems with flat panel detectors (FPD) is driving the European C-Arms market.
This trend has been spurred by the need for complete workflow integration in a fully digital radiology environment. Moreover, FPDs provide improved, distortion-free images in comparison to image intensifiers. However, their high cost, coupled with a lack of funding for healthcare projects, will pose an important limitation to their adoption in the mobile C-Arms segment. Frost & Sullivan finds that the European C-Arms Market earned revenues of $375.2 million in 2005 and estimates this to reach $548.8 million in 2012. "New systems fitted with FPDs instead of conventional image intensifiers are replacing fixed C-Arm systems across Europe," notes Frost & Sullivan Medical Imaging Team Leader, Karthik Arun B. "This trend will be evident in mobile C-Arms too by the year 2008 and will be the single, most important factor driving this market." FPDs make the C-Arm system inherently digital and eliminate the need for analogue- to- digital conversion of images captured using an image intensifier. Moreover, they are lighter and more compact enabling manoeuvrability and ease of handling during procedures using mobile C-Arm systems. Moreover, FPDs provide distortion free images. These advantages, combined with the push towards a completely digital radiology environment, will motivate the C-Arms market to completely convert to FPDs. However, primarily due to their high cost, FPDs are not yet being widely adopted by mobile C-Arm users and vendors. Even with fixed C-Arms, FPDs increase the cost of systems. Furthermore, with Europe being on a capital investment model, C-Arms - especially mobile systems - tend to take a back seat when it comes to resource allocation, resulting in prolonged replacement cycles. "The lack of investment in healthcare across Europe has led to price pressures in the C-Arms market," explains Mr. Karthik. "This situation has hindered faster adoption of FPDs in fixed C-arms and has completely prevented its use in mobile C-Arms, so much so that only one vendor has introduced an FPD-based mobile C-Arm in the market." The focus of C-Arm system vendors should be to develop an FPD that is both efficient and cost-effective. This would require sustained investments in R&D and continued adoption of FPDs in the fixed C-Arm domain. An aggressive, vendor-backed campaign detailing the advantages of FPDs will ensure robust growth for the European C-Arms market.
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