Bone densitometer devices allownon-invasive, quantitative measurement of bone mass or density. Presently, the demand for bone densitometers is high and is continuously risingas it caters to the needs of the growing elderly population and the high incidence rates ofosteoporosis and various associated fractures. Various methods available for measuring bone mineral density and strength use ionizing radiation or ultrasound. The preferred sites of bone density measurement are axial/central skeleton (hip and spine) or peripheral skeleton (forearm, wrist, heel, phalanges).
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At present a broad range of bone densitometers along with number oftechnologies are available in the market for bone density measurement. The most accurate and widely accepted technique is axial/central dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), while axial/central and peripheral quantitative computed tomography (QCT) are the only current methods which provide an actual volumetric measurement of bone mass. Axial DEXA bone densitometers form the largest segment, in the total market, owing to their improved accuracy and precision and wide acceptance by the end users.
Need for trained professionals and high cost as well as huge device size leads to lowering the adoption of axial DEXA systems, particularly in financially lagged countries. Thus growing preference for cost containment measures as well as introduction of portable devices along with increase in awareness for disease diagnosis will together aid in sustaining the growing acceptance of bone densitometers worldwide.
Various other methods used to measure bone density include peripheral DEXA, single energy X-ray absorptiometry, radiographic absorptiometry and quantitative ultrasound. These procedures are generally done in a clinic, hospital, or free-standing radiology facility. Portable bone densitometersare generally preferred for the purpose of mass-screening, where majorly devices preferred are DEXA or quantitative ultrasound units.However, the bone density measurement by portable devices is not as precise as the non-portable methods because of the restricted single bone site testing.
Rising awareness of the impact of fractures on the elderly people, the resulting healthcare expenditure, and availability of improved treatments for prevention of fractures have all contributed to increase in demand for bone densitometers.Moreover, growing middle class combined with ageing population is expected to contribute to the growth of this market. Vitamin D deficiency which also contributes to increased risk of fractures is common in emerging economies of Middle East, India, China and Japan. Factors such as urbanization, parity, lactation, nutrition and occupation may influence bone density in developing countries. Thus, tapping the emerging market for the use of bone densitometers form a major growth opportunity to cater to needs of patients suffering from osteoporosis and fracture risks.
Geographically, North America dominated the global bone densitometers market and is expected to continue to lead in terms of revenue generation throughout the forecast period.The North American market for bone densitometers was valued at more than USD 450million in the year 2012. However, recent healthcare reform is expected to hamper market growth, especially in North America and Europe. Factors such as introduction of equipment’s with low cost, growing elderly population and rise in healthcare awareness due to risk of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women will result in rapid adoption of bone densitometers in the emerging markets.
Asia-Pacific is considered as the most lucrative market for bone densitometers owing to the increase in incidences of osteoporosis and rise in women health concernsthrough 2019. The leading players in the market for bone densitometers areGE Healthcare, Inc., Hologic, Inc, CooperSurgical, Inc., BeamMed Ltd., Diagnostic Medical Systems S.A. and others which include CompuMed, Inc. OsteometerMediTech, Inc. and Lone Oak Medical Technologies LLC.
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