The global MRI systems market is estimated to have reached a value of around $4.2 billion in 2011, and is forecasts to reach a total of $6 billion by the year 2018. This suggests a CAGR growth rate of 6% between 2011 an 2018. Future growth will be driven by technological advances in the global MRI systems market, an increasing number of applications and the advent of MRI-compatible pacemakers. From a demand perspective, a rapidly aging global population and the low penetration of MRI systems in developing economies such as India and China will continue to drive future growth, although the unfavorable reimbursement scenario in developed economies such as the US and Europe is expected to negatively impact demand. Legislation against self-referrals and safety concerns associated with MRI systems, especially with high-field MRI systems, are further restraints.
The US market was valued at $1.3 billion in 2011, or 31% of global MRI revenue, and is forecast to exceed $2.1 billion by 2018 at a CAGR of 7%. It is highly saturated and is primarily for replacement MRI systems (OECD, 2012). Future growth will be mainly driven by the continuous replacement of low-field and mid-field MRI systems with high-field systems. The increasing number of applications and the advent of fusion technologies such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET)/MRI and MRI-guided High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) are further growth drivers. The declining reimbursement trend and legislation against self-referrals on the other hand are expected to negatively impact demand during the forecast period.
Siemens Healthcare was the leader in the global MRI systems market in 2011 with a share of 25%, followed by GE Healthcare with 20%, Philips Healthcare with 13%, Toshiba Medical with 12%, and Hitachi Medical Corporation with 9%. The top four companies accounted for 70% of the global MRI systems market. Future growth will be driven by an increasing focus on addressing the safety and compatibility issues associated with MRI systems. Companies are also expected to focus on improving patient comfort and enhancing image quality while limiting the increase in the direct costs involved in the installation of MRI systems.
Technological advances, a higher number of applications, and the advent of MRI-compatible pacemakers are expected to drive future market growth. Technological advances include Superconducting (SC) magnets, open architecture, high-field MRI, and software applications. These advances provide benefits such as enhanced image quality, cost savings in power consumption, and better patient comfort. The increasing number of potential applications, such as diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), due to the need for higher sensitivity to abnormalities, will prove another significant driver. Additionally, the advent of MRI-compatible pacemakers will significantly increase the number of patients eligible for MRI procedures.
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