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X-ray Equipment

Spotlight on diagnostic imaging, read DR

Manufacturers are not only introducing the latest products but also the future technologies and trends that will have an impact on the market in the coming years.

Does it take a global pandemic to change the way providers deliver care? Covid-19 brought an impact to many healthcare institutions, including hospitals and outpatient imaging facilities, many of which saw decrease in patient volumes along with changes in the types of procedures being ordered. This led to shifts in hours, staffing models, and even business models. These changes required the adoption of new technologies to remain efficient and effective.

The Covid-19 pandemic has turned on the spotlight on diagnostic imaging, particularly on digital radiography (DR) systems. Digital imaging plays a key role in the diagnosis of Covid-19, and indicates the affected lung tissue in infected patients. DR systems provide this fast turnaround, with less than one minute needed between exposure and image acquisition.

The global DR systems market is expected to reach USD 16.4 billion by 2026 from an estimated USD 11.1 billion in 2021, at a CAGR of 8.1 percent from 2021 to 2026. The major factors driving the growth of this market include the increasing geriatric population and growth in disease incidence as well as favorable government regulations, investments, and initiatives. The advantages of digital x-ray systems have played a key part in their adoption; their speed and accuracy, as well as quick processing times, allow for significantly higher patient screening volumes than earlier. This has pushed companies to focus on product development and innovation. However, these systems are priced at a premium, which slows their greater adoption. Other factors, such as declining reimbursements, lack of infrastructure, particularly in developing and underdeveloped countries, and potential risks associated with radiation exposure, are also expected to hinder the growth of this market.

The major advantages of digital imaging are cost-effectiveness and easy accessibility. The hospitals are able to cut the cost by lowering the film price, reducing the requirement of storage space, and decreasing the number of people required to run the services and archive sections. The images are also instantly available for distribution to the clinical services without the time and physical effort needed to retrieve film packets, and reviewing previous imaging on a patient is much easier. This factor majorly impacts the positive growth of the digital x-ray devices market.

Digital X-rays expose approximately 70–80 percent less radiation than conventional X-rays. This is hugely beneficial for the long-term health of patients, especially pregnant women or patients who are already suffering from illness, thus ensuring safety.

Digital x-rays expose approximately 70–80 percent less radiation than conventional x-rays. This is hugely beneficial for the long-term health of patients, especially pregnant women or patients who are already suffering from illness, thus ensuring safety. With the help of digital x-rays, dentists can now easily recognize oral issues, which is leading to a declining need for an invasive investigation at the diagnosis stage. Additionally, digital radiography safely stores patient x-rays, resulting in no loss from the holders.

Based on the portability, the portable x-ray devices are predicted to witness significant growth with a CAGR of 8.11 percent, and expected to make a revenue of approximately USD 5602.19 million by 2025. The major factors driving the growth of portable systems include advanced technology, a rising number of patients with chronic diseases along with an increasing geriatric population, and rising awareness regarding the availability of portable systems. Additionally, the portable x-ray machine has the potential to overcome location barriers and benefit patients who are in life-threatening situations and require immediate treatment wherever they are, possibly needing an on-the-spot diagnosis. Thus, portable x-ray devices play a vital role in the diagnosis and monitoring of the patient’s bedside, with no hurdle of transfer of patient to the x-ray room.

Also, the increasing product launches related to portable x-ray devices surge the growth of the studied market. For instance, in August 2020, Canon Medical USA launched the SOLTUS 500 mobile digital x-ray system that is equipped with enhancements that can streamline bedside exams to help improve workflow and productivity. Thus, in view of the aforementioned advantages of portable systems and increasing product launches, the segment is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period.

Within North America, the United States has held the major share of the market and is expected to dominate over the next couple of years.

The increasing adoption of healthcare systems toward sophisticated technology and the growing burden of chronic diseases in the region are the major factors driving the digital x-ray devices market in North America. According to the Globocon 2020, the new cancer cases diagnosed were 2,281,658 in the United States in 2020, with 6,12,390 deaths. Additionally, the number of adults in the United States with doctor-diagnosed arthritis is projected to reach 78.4 million by 2040, which accounts for 25.9 percent of all adults in the United States as per the Arthritis Foundation Factsheet, 2019. The high incidence of chronic diseases surges the demand for accurate diagnosis and plan for efficient and on-time treatment by the healthcare provider, hence, driving the growth of the studied market in North America.

The high concentration of key players, along with the increasing product approvals and launches, is expected to drive the studied market. For instance, in December 2020, Canon Medical System USA, Inc., launched Omnera 500A digital radiography system with advanced intelligent auto-positioning feature to improve the workflow. Thus, the digital x-ray devices market is anticipated to grow significantly over the next six years in North America.

The digital x-ray devices market is moderately competitive, and a few companies are currently dominating the market. These companies include Agfa, Carestream, GE Healthcare, Philips, Fujifilm Holdings, Siemens Healthineers, and Canon Medical System (Toshiba Corporation), among others. The competition in the market is majorly based on technological advances and the pricing of digital x-ray equipment. Additionally, the key players have been involved in various strategic alliances, such as acquisitions and collaborations along with launch of advanced products to secure the position in the global market.

Some recent developments in this market include introduction of AMX Navigate, a portable digital x-ray system by GE Healthcare in September 2021.

In November 2021, Carestream Health shared its clear and efficient solutions for expanding to DR at RSNA 2021. With Carestream’s DR Retrofit systems, imaging facilities that have not yet fully upgraded to DR can move forward to full wireless DR imaging at a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new system. Carestream’s retrofit solutions – both rooms and mobiles – use a single wireless detector to convert existing equipment to full digital operation, delivering all the provider and patient benefits of a DR system.

At the same event, Samsung showcased its premium digital mobile x-ray, the AccE GM85, which delivers unparalleled performance and gives users better diagnostic confidence while improving workflow. Recently, Samsung received FDA 510(k) clearance for its Auto Lung Nodule Detection tool, which can be utilized in the AccE GC85A and in other systems.

In March 2021, Koninklijke Philips N.V. received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration for a CombiDiagnost R90, a remote-controlled fluoroscopy system in combination with high-end digital radiography.

In November 2020, Siemens Healthineers launched MULTIX Impact C, ceiling-mounted digital radiography (DR) system. The company also launched MULTIX Impact VA20, a new version of the established floor-mounted parent DR system.

The opportunities for AI implementation in radiology are vast and exciting. Current research highlights the ways in which AI has the potential to enhance diagnostic imaging care.

Development of AI-based digital x-ray system. The opportunities for AI implementation in radiology are vast and exciting. Current research highlights the ways in which AI has the potential to enhance diagnostic imaging care. Advancements in pathology detection, characterization, and monitoring are just a few avenues by which AI is predicted to revolutionize the specialty in the coming years. Improved imaging analysis will lead to more timely and targeted diagnosis and therapies, which ultimately will improve patient outcomes. In the near future, the partnership between radiologists and AI technology will begin to redefine imaging care for years to come.

Many ongoing research and development programs have contributed to the industry in this regard. Currently, R&D activities are being conducted by various companies to provide AI in different imaging modalities, including digital x-ray systems.

At RSNA, Agfa launched its new Valory DR room. Valory delivers a simple design with functionality that goes far beyond the basics, bringing reliability, productivity, and first-time-right imaging into reach for any hospital. Valory is the newest addition to Agfa’s comprehensive DR portfolio. It comes with a wide choice of a generator power, ceiling-suspended x-ray tube, and Dura-line Cesium Iodide detectors that deliver robust reliability, cost-effectiveness, the potential for significant patient dose reduction, outstanding 15-hour battery autonomy, and the ability to share detectors between DR systems.

In November 2021, GE Healthcare received FDA approval for new AI, Critical Care Suite 2.0, that helps bedside staff and radiologists assess patients before intubation with endotracheal tube placements. The suite consists of five AI solutions and is an industry-first collection of AI algorithms embedded on a mobile x-ray device for automated measurements, case prioritization, and quality control.

In May 2021, Fujifilm partnered with to make intelligent x-ray solutions. The company introduced x-ray solutions, augmented with qXR,’s computed aided radiology software application designed with deep-learning AI technology.

In March 2021, Philips Healthcare entered into a collaboration with Lunit that will make Lunit’s AI software accessible to users of Philips’ diagnostic x-ray solutions. The agreement is the latest extension of Philips’ AI portfolio in precision diagnosis, which leverages this collaboration to achieve better patient outcomes, improve the experience of patients and staff, and lower the cost of care.

In November 2020, Hologic, Inc., received a CE mark for its Genius Digital Diagnostics System, which consists of a digital imager for image acquisition, an AI algorithm for analyzing images, and an image management server for storing images for cervical cancer screening.

In August 2020, Canon Medical Systems partnered with Zebra Medical Vision (Zebra-Med) to offer its AI1 automated imaging analysis solutions to help clinicians in the US provide faster, more accurate diagnoses for optimized patient care. These advancements have further led to a positive adoption trend for AI in diagnostic imaging.

Surprisingly, the road to widespread AI use in radiology has taken longer than many had anticipated. Many in the industry have learned with experience that this journey is not a sprint, but rather a marathon with a relay-race component, because it requires a broad ecosystem of stakeholders committed to teamwork and collaboration. As a result, the industry’s perspective on AI in radiology is continuously evolving and maturing.

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