Growth in the fluoroscopy equipment market is attributed to factors such as the advantages of FPDs over image intensifiers, the use of fluoroscopy in pain management, reimbursement cuts for analog radiography systems, the rising geriatric population, and the growing prevalence of chronic diseases.
The pandemic has also impacted the operation of manufacturing companies. Companies are functioning with a limited workforce. Moreover, the turnaround time for the delivery of products and services is affected due to newer packaging protocols and lockdown measures imposed by countries. All these factors are negatively impacting the manufacturing and supply chain of fluoroscopy products.
The evolution of fluoroscopy systems and C-arms from traditional X-ray image intensifier technology to digital flat-panel detectors (FPDs) has brought about significant advancements in fluoroscopic imaging. FPDs have a number of advantages over image intensifiers, including compact sizes and reduced radiation dose. Systems with FPDs have the potential for higher image resolution than their predecessors.
They continue to deliver the same image quality even years after use and can provide a wider and more dynamic range of imaging compared to image intensifiers. Additionally, the field of vision reduces with higher magnification in the case of image intensifiers, which does not happen if FPDs are used.
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Fluoroscopic procedures can result in high radiation dose exposure for complex procedures, such as stent placement. These procedures are time-consuming, which greatly increases the radiation that patients are exposed to and the risk of hazards such as radiation-induced injuries to the skin and underlying tissues. The long-term side-effects of prolonged radiation exposure can also include cancer.
For instance, the ACR (American College of Radiology) Appropriateness Criteria specify that for infants younger than two months, ultrasound should be considered before a fluoroscopic examination. Additionally, CT examinations can completely eliminate the need for a fluoroscopic examination, as a CT scan is noninvasive as opposed to minimally invasive fluoroscopic imaging.
The growing prominence of other non-radiation imaging modalities, like ultrasound, is likely to restrain the market growth.
Many hospitals in developing countries are unable to invest in fluoroscopy equipment due to their high costs, poor reimbursement rates, and budget constraints, and therefore prefer refurbished systems. These systems are less expensive than new systems—approximately 40% to 60% of the original price.
Major players operating in the fluoroscopy equipment market include Siemens Healthineers (Germany), GE Healthcare (US), Philips (Netherlands), Shimadzu Corporation (Japan), Ziehm Imaging (Germany), Canon Medical Systems (Japan), Hitachi (Japan), Carestream Health (US), Hologic (US), Lepu Medical Technology (China), Agfa-Gevaert Group (Belgium), and ADANI Systems (Belarus).