C-arm procedure demand and variety expected to increase

C-arm systems play an important role in patient care, as they are used to visualize patient anatomy in the operating room during surgery. In 2023, an estimated 8.3 million imaging exams were performed using fixed C-arm devices, according to the newly published "IMV 2024 Fixed C-arm Market Outlook Report." The report offers context for the use of C-arm systems by patient care mix, types of physicians who use the technology, and coming trends.

Davin Korstjens of IMV Medical Information Division.Davin Korstjens of IMV Medical Information Division.

Regarding the breakdown of patient case mix by department, the report found that in 2023, 51% of fixed C-arm cases were performed in radiology-related departments, 35% in cardiology-related departments, and 15% in surgery-related departments. 

It also found that thus far this year, the top types of physicians performing procedures with fixed C-arms include interventional radiologists (53%) followed by cardiac/cardiovascular surgeons and interventional cardiologists (47% each).

Looking ahead, 23% of survey respondents agreed that over the next two to three years, there will be a trend toward shifting from open surgery procedures to those performed using fixed C-arms.

When it comes to hospitals' focus on specific clinical programs, 61% of respondents indicated that their hospital has a vascular surgery program, 54% have a cardiac surgery program, and 31% have a dedicated structural heart disease program -- all of which use fixed C-arm devices.

Hospital clinical programs that use C-arm devices
Program Percentage, hospitals surveyed
Vascular surgery 61%
Cardiac surgery 54%
Dedicated structural heart disease 31%

Regarding department operations in 2024, overall, 69% of sites reported having two or more technologists involved in preparing patients for an exam on a fixed C-arm system. By site type, 40% of hospitals with 400 beds or more have at least three technologists involved in preparing patients for exams compared to 17% to 20% of hospitals with fewer than 400 beds.

According to the 2024 survey, 75% of fixed C-arm sites are open for nine to 13 hours every weekday, with an average of 12.6 hours; 36% of sites are open for more than 24 hours over the weekend, with an average of 21.5 hours.

C-arm sites, average hours open
Time period Average hours open
Weekdays 12.6
Weekends 21.5

In terms of demand and competition, 33% of respondents disagreed that "competition with other providers in our area is reducing the number of fixed C-arm patients at our facility."

Finally, the report found the following:

  • In 2024, the top priority to the mission of departments with fixed C-arms was to "improve patient satisfaction with their experience." The remaining top four priorities were "improve capability to reduce radiation dose to patients," "improve staff satisfaction and morale," "satisfy the needs of the surgeons and interventional physicians who use our fixed C-arms," and "keep the department up to date with state-of-the-art fixed C-arm technology."

  • This year, 60% of sites have fixed C-arms installed in the cardiology/cath lab, 48% in the interventional radiology/angiography/special procedures lab, and 33% in the operating room.

  • In 2024, 87% of surveyed hospitals have portable/mobile C-arm units, while 13% do not have them.

Taken together, these data indicate that demand for C-arm procedures is likely to remain strong at facilities in the near future, and the types of procedures performed on C-arms will likely continue to increase.

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Davin Korstjens is the director of market intelligence at the IMV Medical Information Division, which is part of Science and Medicine Group.

IMV's "2024 Fixed C-arm Market Outlook Report" explores market trends in U.S. hospitals, including procedure volume, manufacturer-installed base features and share, the use of original equipment manufacturers versus third-party service providers, purchase plans, brand loyalty, and site operations characteristics. The report was published in June 2024 and is based on responses from 208 radiology/departmental administrators and clinicians who participated in IMV's nationwide survey from March to April 2024. Vendors covered in this report include Canon, GEHC, Hologic, Medtronic, Philips, Siemens, Shimadzu, and Ziehm.

For information about purchasing IMV Market Outlook reports, visit the corporate website at imvinfo.com or call 703-778-3080, ext. 1033 to speak with a representative. In addition to the report, all purchases will include a complimentary recording of an executive summary presentation of findings conducted by IMV's director of market intelligence.

Disclosure: IMV Medical Information Division is a sister company of AuntMinnie.com.

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