Emerging Markets Vital to Future Success of the Global Ultrasound Market
Global revenues for ultrasound equipment are forecast to grow by 29% over the next five years, according to a new study by InMedica, a division of IMS Research (recently acquired by IHS Inc. (NYSE:IHS)), The World Market for Ultrasound Imaging Equipment – 2012. Particularly strong growth is forecast in the Asia Pacific region over this time, with revenues projected to increase by 43 percent; compared to only 15 percent and 26 percent for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and American regions.
The drivers of growth in the Asia Pacific ultrasound market vary significantly throughout the region. In emerging markets, such as India, China and some areas of Southeast Asia, there is still great need to improve both the standard and access of healthcare services. This is consequently encouraging strong demand for medical devices, including ultrasound equipment. In contrast, growth in many mature ultrasound markets in this region, such as Oceania, Taiwan and Korea, is being driven by demand for advanced imaging technology and the growing use of ultrasound for procedural guidance. Improvements in image quality, application specific technology and transducer design is diversifying the clinical use of ultrasound in these countries.
As a result of these factors, the share of global revenues held by the Asia Pacific ultrasound market is forecast to increase over the next five years, despite the fact that unit shipments are forecast to decrease. The decline in unit shipments is largely influenced by a shift in demand and product mix; from low-cost black-and-white systems to higher quality colour equipment in emerging markets. This trend is already evident in the Chinese ultrasound market, and many more emerging markets are projected to follow.
Despite a strong outlook in the Asia Pacific region, significant challenges have impacted some regions recently. Most notable was the natural disaster of 2011 in Japan. Here, the economy was seriously affected, triggering a decline of revenues in the second largest ultrasound market in this region. “Economic recovery is vital for the future of the ultrasound market in Japan,” commented Carly Reed, market analyst at InMedica. “Pent-up demand for ultrasound equipment, from both the global economic downturn in 2009, and the natural disaster in 2011, will be a major factor driving growth in Japan and many other mature markets in Asia Pacific in the long-term future.”
A similar trend has also been observed in the European ultrasound market. “Challenging economic conditions in many Western European countries, such as Greece, Italy and Spain, had a negative impact on the ultrasound market in 2011,” continued Reed. “In comparison, the European ultrasound market is projected a far slower recovery, due to further expected healthcare spending cuts to control spiraling economic debt in many regions.”
Despite slower growth forecast for the global ultrasound market in 2012, the longer term outlook for the market is bright, with annual growth above 5% projected. Each of the major global regions (EMEA, Americas and Asia Pacific) were estimated to account for approximately a third of global ultrasound revenues in 2011. Whilst the performance of each region is important to the overall success of the global market, the Asia Pacific region is forecast to be the strongest driving force of the global ultrasound market over the next five years.
About “The World Market for Ultrasound Imaging Equipment – 2012” report
This is the sixth edition of InMedica’s highly acclaimed report on the global market for ultrasound imaging equipment. This report provides detailed revenue, unit shipment and ASP analysis of 4 price segments for both compact and cart-based ultrasound equipment, highlighting important market trends and challenges for future market development.
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