The range of clinical applications that are performed on MRI scanners is nothing short of astounding. With greater functionality also comes the challenge of both scanners and coils being increasingly more expensive. To increase customer base, MRI scanners and coils manufacturers must target fast-growing markets in diagnostic imaging centers and community hospitals.
Frost & Sullivan’s Medical Imaging group finds that the U.S. MRI Scanners and Coils Markets earned revenues of $1.40 billion for scanners and $118 million for coils in 2005 and estimates these to reach $2.9 billion and $317 million, respectively, in 2012.
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The significant advancements in MR angiography, including neurovascular and peripheral vascular studies, have added greater insight into the physiology of blood vessels, the life-supply conduits for our bodies. Breast, prostate and liver cancer detection and diagnosis are also gaining ground with a range of procedures possible with today’s scanners. MRI coils are also being integrated into sophisticated units to image nearly every major body part.
“Welcome to the new MRI, where diagnostic capabilities can image blood vessels, brain fiber tracts and even small cancerous lesions,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Subha B. Basu. “The industry is also witnessing a fast growth in high field scanners as well as more consolidation of third-party coil manufacturers.”
Although MRI is a mature technology in terms of scientific principles and clinical acceptance, the selling prices of scanners in 2005 is still in the million-dollar range, even for some low-field systems. Price ranges for low-field systems are approximately $600,000 to $1 million, with the higher end systems increasing to $1.5 million and $2 million for ultra high-field systems. According to manufacturers, new scanners sold in 2005 increased value from previous years because of advancements in coil technology, reduced scan times, and greater range of clinical applications.
“Large clinical facilities have a combination of scanners to accommodate the breadth of patient exams,” explains Basu. “But the high selling prices are still a major deterrent for buying decisions, especially when it’s a first-time buy or upgrading to a more advanced system.”
Since trends in selling prices have largely remained the same over the past few years, another possibility to increasing revenues is targeting high opportunity markets aggressively to increase buyer-base. One of the fastest growing types of clinical facilities in the U.S. is freestanding diagnostic imaging centers. With annual increases of nearly 10 percent, the number of centers total over 6,000 as of 2005. These centers serve the multitude of patient referrals and therefore require several types of systems to increase procedural rates and throughput.
The U.S. MRI Scanner and Coils Markets is part of the Medical Imaging Growth Partnership Services which also includes research in the following markets: U.S. Radiology Picture Archiving and Communications Systems, U.S. Breast Imaging Equipment Markets, U.S. Computed Tomography Markets and U.S. Ultrasound Equipment Markets. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews are available to the press.
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U.S. MRI Scanner and Coils Markets