LONDON, Oct. 13 Eastern Europe is poised to be the market to tap into in the near future for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) manufacturers. These countries have budgets allocated to improve their healthcare systems after becoming members of the European Union (EU). Their installed base of MRI systems is not large, which directly makes this region conducive for market growth. At the same time, market prospects will receive a boost from an expanding application range.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.medicalimaging.frost.com), Western and Eastern European Markets for MRI, finds that the market earned revenues of $858.2 million in 2008 and estimates this to reach $996.3 million in 2012. The market sectors covered in this research include cardiovascular MRI, breast MRI, functional MRI, interventional MRI, contrast-enhanced MRI, spinal MRI and musculoskeletal MRI.
"Along with constant upgrades in Tesla strength, the number of applications of MRI is increasing from a research point of view," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Gideon Praveen Kumar. "Moreover, such applications are becoming commercially viable as well."
For most applications, a 1.5 Tesla system, coupled with the use of CAD, will suffice. 3-Tesla systems provide a higher resolution of images, which can prove to be important, especially for more sophisticated clinical applications. MRI scanning has also been used for ophthalmic and other sensory applications, making this a preferred route for dedicated MRI vendors.
However, reimbursement remains an industry-wide constraint for the medical imaging industry. Reimbursement for MRI scans is of considerable importance as it has one of the highest costs per procedure.
"Medical practitioners, while willing to refer more patients for MRI scans, are deterred from doing so by the low reimbursement levels which are around $500 to $800," explains Kumar. "The MRI market is particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in reimbursement levels."
Moreover, regulatory agencies worldwide prohibit individuals with implantable cardiac devices from receiving MRI scans. This further threatens market expansion.
Accordingly, cardiovascular MRI manufacturers should work towards the development of automated coil-changing systems. At the same time, they should focus on enhancing image-reconstruction techniques.
Promisingly, 3-Tesla systems are expected to grow better than projected a few years back as they do not have the inherent technical problems that they posed when first launched.
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Western and Eastern European Markets for MRI is part of the Medical Imaging Growth Partnership Services programme, which also includes research in the following markets: Eastern European Ultrasound Market, European Medical Imaging Equipment Market for Cardiology Applications and Eastern European Medical Imaging Modalities. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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Western and Eastern European Markets for MRI
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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan