por Loren Bonner
, DOTmed News Online Editor | January 14, 2014
Amy McGivern, a 15-year-old girl living in Wales, told the BBC this week that she had to wait six months for an MRI scan after a sports-related knee injury landed her in the emergency room. Wait times exceeding eight weeks for MRIs and other advanced imaging scans are common in the United Kingdom.
According to a new report from Frost and Sullivan, long wait times have increased the need for medical imaging equipment in hospitals, and refurbished imaging systems offer a good option for these hospitals that are also operating under tight budgets.
The European refurbished medical imaging equipment market is driven by the increasing privatization of hospitals and the need to streamline health care expenses in hospitals, the analysis concludes. The main customers of refurbished imaging systems in Europe are the private sector health care organizations that are seeking a return on investment.
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According to a report published last year from Transparency Market Research, the refurbished medical equipment market is slated to be worth $9 billion by 2018, building at an annual growth rate of 8.2 percent. A significant portion of the demand is coming from wealthier economies like the U.S. and Europe.
The Frost and Sullivan report analyzes the trends across countries in Western Europe, as well as Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). CEE has a growing private sector and offers opportunities for medical tourism, which lends itself to adopting the latest technology to match European standards, the report said. But financial instability in the health care sector in many regions of CEE make refurbished equipment a more attractive choice.
In Europe, the refurbished medical imaging equipment market is largely dominated by OEMs, with some independent vendors and brokers selling reconditioned systems.
Traditionally, MRI and CT equipment have dominated the refurbished market in Europe but ultrasound as well as mammography and PET systems are also growing.