Emerging Healthcare Markets Key to Global Growth of Medical Imaging


Map Representing Global Growth of Medical Imaging

The medical imaging global market is experiencing significant growth. Over the next five years, the global ultrasound market is predicted to grow by 27%, according to new market research from IMS Research, now part of IHS, Inc.

Factors that are driving the market expansion of medical imaging, in particular, ultrasound, are:

  • Projected strong growth in China
  • Increased government investment to modernize healthcare and medical imaging in Russia
  • Health-improvement objectives in Southeast Asia and Brazil

US and Europe Medical Imaging Markets Show Slower Growth

The slowdown in medical imaging is not good news for device manufacturers, since, in the United States, uncertainty regarding the fiscal cliff and the Affordable Care Act resulted in delayed ultrasound purchases in 2012. Growth of the US ultrasound market in 2012 slowed to an estimated 3.4%, down from 8.1% in 2011. Economic worries also hit Southern Europe, forcing many healthcare providers to postpone buying and to use their existing ultrasound equipment for longer periods.

China’s Medical Imaging Market on the Rise

Investing in medical imaging and other healthcare services is part of China’s 2020 Health Plan with the aim to provide universal health care by then. Healthcare spending in China is projected to almost triple to $1 trillion annually by 2020, driven by an aging population, government efforts to broaden insurance coverage, and an increase in the construction of county hospitals.

“Medical device manufacturers will benefit from the development of new infrastructure in China, as demand for medical systems will grow in order to equip new hospitals,” said Carly Reed, senior analyst for medical imaging at IHS. “Additional investment for existing hospitals to update old equipment will also spur demand for higher-specification ultrasound systems over the next few years.”

Russia, Emerging Markets Showing Growth

Increased government investment in Russia, aimed at updating healthcare services and medical imaging equipment, led to a 25% growth in the ultrasound market in 2012. This is expected to taper off in 2013, as much of the upgrade is complete. However, in emerging markets, such as Brazil, India, and Southeast Asia, they are looking to improve both standards for and access to healthcare services, which will help fuel the long-term growth of the worldwide ultrasound market.

Emerging markets will see an increase in the penetration of ultrasound systems, the researchers reported, while mature markets in the United States and Europe will benefit as the economic picture improves and pent-up demand grows for medical imaging equipment.

What trends do you see in emerging markets within the medical imaging field?

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